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Photographing Your Family, Part 2: Composition

Published on: December 30, 2013

Editor's note: This is the second in a new series on photographing your family by photographer Kim Barlow.

One important aspect of composition is where you put the head in a photograph. If you look at the person across the room you’ll see that you automatically put them in the middle of your view.

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It makes sense then that when you take a picture your natural tendency is to put them in the middle.

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Here is an example of what I see in many photos. The subject is right in the middle of the photograph.

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It is much better to put the head/heads at the top of the picture. This takes some practice but it is well worth the effort.

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Here is a shot with two people. There is some room at the top but the subject is not in the middle of the photo.

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When you’re constructing your shot keep in mind that keeping the subject right in the middle of the picture is visually boring in most cases.

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Here is the same weed but placed off to the side. The subject is still boring but the picture is much more interesting.

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I've included some examples of the subject off to the side. It creates visual interest.

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Here, the subject is not at the top but it is still very interesting.

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I thought I’d throw in one more of the subjects off to the side.

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See also:

Photographing Your Family, Part 1: Why Take Pictures

11 tips on taking iPhone photos

Kim Barlow

About the author: Kim is one of those lucky women who was able to be a stay-at-home mom for most of her motherhood career. She loved almost every minute of raising kids. She has three of them. The 9 year old is still at home being raised. She got into Photography when she was 8 years old but really didn't do anything with it until she had kids of her own. She loves taking pictures and would love to adopt every family she takes pictures of. She loves to draw and paint and spend time with her husband of 22 years. She also loves walking the dog no matter what the weather. Her perfect day is a toss-up between a beautiful day for picture taking or taking the time to read a good library book. See more of Kim Barlow's photography at

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