Here are five things to keep in mind when composing your picture. Of course, as with all rules, they are made to be broken under the right circumstances.

1. Rule of Thirds– Imagine a grid with nine squares on the photo. Place subject where two lines intersect. Avoid centering subject in the center horizontally or vertically.

2. Complimentary Colors- Remember the color wheel from art class? Watch for complimentary colors for pleasing images. Certain colors work together better than others. Red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple are all examples of complimentary colors, when placed together they stand out more and appear brighter and more colorful.
3. Use Depth of Field to Your Advantage-** To blur out background use a wide-open aperture. If the background is important to your image use a smaller aperture. Use the right aperture to keep your subject in focus.

4. Watch your Light- Make the light work for you not against you. Light can make or break an image. Backlight can create beautiful silhouettes, afternoon light is more directional and has golden tones. Watch for shadows that can add contrast to your photos. If you are not sure how to work with the light shoot with it coming over your back.

5. Shoot Tight- Don’t be afraid to take a step closer and shoot tight to isolate your subject. Shoot from further away if the surroundings add to the mood of your photo. Keep your backgrounds clean.
6. Leading Lines-** Compose your photos with consideration of leading lines or lines that catch the eye and guide it through the photo. When possible have your subject looking into the image, not out of it.
—Melissa Macatee
Contributing Blogger