In most situations, the same rules apply to fashion photography composition just like any other photographic genre. However, emphasising the subject is one thing. Showcasing what they’re wearing at the same time may require some serious composition skills.
1. Learn the Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is a crucial guideline in making sure your composition is on point. So how do you apply it? First mentally divide your frame into nine squares of equal sizes–much like a tic-tac-toe grid. To achieve a balanced composition, put your subject in any of the points where the lines intersect.
You can also use your camera for help. Almost every camera nowadays has a grid-line function to assist you in composing your shots. Once you activate it on your device, simply move your camera until your subject is in one of the intersections on the screen.
The rule of thirds is useful especially if you’re not sure where to place your model. As long as you stick to it, your composition will improve significantly. After a while, you won’t even need to turn on the grid-lines in your camera, it’ll be instinctual.
2. Place Your Subject in the Center
Every once in a while, you can break photography composition rules to get the shot you want. Sometimes, you can even ignore the rule of thirds completely and put your subject right in the centre.
If you do it correctly, you’ll realise that this style works perfectly for fashion portraits. Since your main point of interest is already in the middle, the viewer will see it immediately.
However, just remember that placing your subject in the centre can sometimes make the image look static and uninteresting. Therefore, you need to keep in mind a few tips to make this unusual composition work.
The primary factor to consider is the background. Look for a location that has something you can use to balance your composition. For instance, the photo below uses the flowers surrounding the model to frame her. The triangle formed by her hair and arms also add balance to the image.
Next, you’ll need to think of appropriate poses to prevent your photo from looking too rigid. Ask your model to move around, flip their hair, or swing their arms outwards. Look for ways to make them look graceful.
Additionally, you can have the model lean slightly to the side to make them look less stiff. Asking them to look either left or right would make people think something is going on off-camera. Consequently, all the negative space around your subject is now providing curiosity to the viewer.