Too often, the good pictures we take are a result of luck as opposed to a product of conscious thought. Not all photographs will be fantastic, but by trying to follow some simple rules/guidelines, we can maximize the potential of our pictures and increase the number of great one we take.

Define Your Subject

  • Too often when you take a shot, it is not clear who you are really taking the picture of.
  • Figure out what you are taking a shot of and concentrate only only on that, maximizing excess background

Orient Your Camera

  • Certain shots lend themselves to certain camera orientations.
  • After you figure out what you are taking a shot of, decide which is the best way to hold the camera:
    • Scenery shots = Landscape
    • Individual or pairs = portrait
    • Groups of 3 or more = landscape 
    • Narrow objects = portrait
    • Wide objects = portrait

Move in Close

  • Always concentrate on the most important part of the subject - ie: for portraits it is the face
  • Minimize the amount of background in the shots as it detracts from the subject

Rule of Thirds

  • The subject of the image should not be centred in the photograph
  • Rather, imagine the image to be divided into thirds both along the horizontal and the vertical.
  • the subject should then be positioned along one of the sets of 1/3 lines.

Change Camera Position

  • Do not always shoot from your natural standing position: change tour stance, crouch down, or stand on something to make you taller.
  • Do not always shoot your subject from different aspects


Take 5 pairs of shots (10 pics total) that demonstrate the above concepts. Then lay them out in a single powerpoint document with titles to act as a quick reference guide to good photographic framing.