A Quick Tip: Framing Your Images

Oh good, you’re here. Pull up a chair.

We need to have a talk.

It’s about framing in photography.

black steering wheel
Photo by Febiyan

What do we mean by that? Framing, as the name implies, means to enclose or outline a space and draw attention to it. Just like a framed photograph, framing within a photograph draws attention to particular elements of an image.

Effective use of framing, then, becomes one of the many techniques a photographer can deploy to help craft the image he wants.

What can be used as a frame in compositional terms? Really anything that encloses a space in a photograph and highlights it. It could be a physical structure, lighting, weather, or any combination of things.

Keep these points in your mind.

  1. Frames add depth
  2. A frame can force the viewer’s eyes into the photograph
  3. Your frame should compliment the main subject; but not overwhelm it
  4. Look for frames that help tell your story
  5. A frame can be natural, man-made, or created in post
  6. The frame can be a part of the subject
  7. The frame can be the subject
brown wooden bench on green grass field near lake during daytime
Photo by Muhammad Abdullah

Consider this: Rather than using framing, a photographer attempts nothing more than a bird’s eye view of everything.

While that might be interesting, it wouldn’t be as compelling in terms of drawing the viewer into their photograph. Doing this makes the viewer participate in the art in front of them. We’re not just presenting facts or scenes or data – photographs tell stories and they do this through things like framing. 

Next time you are in nature or an urban space, notice the natural framing that occurs all around you and imagine how you could use it in your photographs. 

Once you train your mind to notice framing occurring naturally, you’ll be able to incorporate it effortlessly into your photographs. 

selective focus photography of concrete castle
Photo by Dominik VO

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