These Photo Composition Tips From 3 Top Pros Will Definitely Up Your Game (VIDEO)

Regardless of the type of photography you do, once you get the light right it’s all about composition. And there’s no better way to refine your eye than by gleaning some wisdom from highly acclaimed pros.

In the intriguing tutorial below from Advancing Your Photography, three notable photographers—Pye Jirsa, Bob Holmes, and Serge Ramelli—share their insights on composition and the type of framing that makes a powerful image. Holmes is an internationally acclaimed travel photographer, Jirsa shoots weddings and portraits, and Ramelli specializes in landscape and cityscape photography.

Jirsa demonstrates how carefully positioning models relative to a light source can have a huge impact on the emotion conveyed by a photograph, as in the image atop this page. He also discusses posing techniques and the importance of “directing” one’s subjects instead of just walking up and capturing the photo. Jirsa adds, “I always look through my shot to the background,” to avoid distracting elements or stray points of light.

French pro Ramelli is insistent upon only making images when the light is at its best, and says, “I do not ever, ever, take a photo in the afternoon. That means shooting at golden hour, blue hour, or after dark. Ramelli has a keen eye for framing his scenes and he pays particular attention to foreground elements, leading lines, and how a compelling sky can be used as a compositional tool. As a visual storyteller, Ramelli continually asks himself if there are any objects in the composition that do not contribute to his message. If so, he takes a different approach.

Travel photographer extraordinaire Holmes doesn’t bow to popular rules and conventions, which is why his images are so compelling. When composing his shots he says, “I often cut heads off because I use people symbolically rather than as personalities.” He pays particular attention to interesting shapes in his scenes, and demonstrates why he’s always looking for silhouettes.

There are many more valuable tips in this fascinating video, and we encourage you to take a look. There are other helpful interviews with notable photographers on the Advancing Your Photography YouTube channel