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5 simple composition elements to create stunning images

Bucking the popular Instagram filter trend for a minimized look through the lens.


Everyone has a great camera in their pocket. Everyone has dynamic photo editing software – filters, apps and in camera tools. However, creating composition is a skill that not everyone has. It’s easy to take a photo and make it look pretty; but what’s not easy is making the subject pop or using elements to focus on important points in a photo.

Photographers who want to be taken seriously need to take a step back and look at what they are trying to convey. And it’s key to find the most important composition tool to convey your story.

Balancing the fine line of composition

Images need to grab people’s attention. And the best way to do that is through effective composition. I like to think image composition as an orchestra composer arranging a piece of music with important elements that tell a story. And photography composition is no different.


Think about these 5 elements of a photograph:

  • Light

  • Subject action

  • Lines, shapes and forms

  • Visual weight

  • Fine details


LIGHT controls the image. By making light available in a certain angle or shape will help arrange the photo in an optimal way.

ACTION helps tell a story. Capture the subject at a certain point in action. That point needs to be the single most important element of the story you’re trying to tell.


GEOMETRY leads people to the subject. Use lines, shapes and forms to focus on the subject.

VISUAL WEIGHT attracts the audience to a singular point. Use background and high-contrast colors to help the audience find the subject of the image.

FINE DETAILS are the most important piece of any photograph. Is there a line in the background of a profile that cuts through someone’s head? Or is there a flair of light on the lens that will show up on the RAW photo? Don’t cut corners on these small details.

Work with Andy Gardner Photography to capture your story.

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