Composition in stock photography
Let’s take a look at how composition will help you sell more images and what you should be keeping an eye out for when going out and taking new shots.
- subjects on white are too small in comparison to the whole picture
- cutting parts of your model out of the picture (unless this is a moody shoot keep the model in the image completely)
- taking tilted nature or city shots. They simply don’t work, don’t sell and are quite hard to look at
- make sure your horizon line is straight before submitting your images
Composition rules work, and you can find numerous tutorials on composition all across the web. If I’d make a top 3 composition rules that I find most useful in stock photography it would look like this:
- rule of thirds, or the “stay off the middle” rule. Why it works? Because you are not killing and flattening the image by putting the subjects dead in the middle and you leave copy space. This is important in stock photography, you must leave room for the buyer to use for his own design.
- background. It’s as important as the subject when it comes to stock photography as a too busy background will hide the subject, a bad color will flatten out the image and a too strong color will wash out the subject.
- Lines and symmetry. This is more like a few rules fused together but make sure the lines in your image are drawing the eye to the focus point. Symmetry is important when you shoot certain objects and buildings.
So, let’s recap:
- shoot straight images
- crop when you need to but keep it simple and effective
- keep your subject out of the middle and offer story to your photos
- don’t let the background clash with your subject
- look for lines and patterns that draw the eye to the image and not away from it
- symmetry maters
- bend the rules if you feel like it but make sure the end result is spectacular
Till next time, happy shooting!