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Composition and Framing

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One of the primary tools that a photographer uses when creating their images is composition and framing.  There are a number of guidelines that can be followed to create compelling photographs that leads the viewer’s eye through the image.

A very popular guideline is the rule of thirds.  Imagine the image being divided into 9 equal segments by 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines.  The rule of thirds says that you should position the most important elements in the scene along the intersection of these lines.  When creating this image, I made sure to place the bride and groom’s faces at these exact locations.

Another guideline is the balancing of elements in the photograph.  Oftentimes placing the main subject off-center or balancing the visual weight in the photograph creates a more dynamic image.  I composed the image in such a way that each subject has their own space within each window balanced between the vertical line that separates the two.

The symmetry and patterns that are created by the windows further emphasize the focal point in this scene.  Each subject is framed within the frame of the photograph placing them each in their own unique space yet joined together by both their gaze and the simple embrace of their hands.

The expression of depth is another tool used by the photographer to create a compelling image.  The exaggeration or compression of space can greatly impact how an image is perceived.  Being that this location is the highest point in Anacortes, WA, I wanted the viewer to experience this unique perspective and incredible view by expressing depth in the image.  Properly exposing and defining the background for this image was just as critical as the foreground content of the couple enjoying the moment together.

These and many other elements are all taken into consideration before the shutter button is even pressed to freeze a moment in time.  While the specific tools and thought processes in making a photograph are not necessarily all that important to someone looking to hire a wedding photographer, what is important, is that the photographer you do hire understands these concepts and tools.  And more importantly, knows how to use them.

Check out more of our work at Paul Rich Studio.