Composing a Better Photo: Focal Point

Composing Better Photos: Focal Point via

All photos need a focal point.  Perhaps this goes without saying.  And, perhaps we all need an occasional reminder!

A focal point is the most important part of a photo.  This is what should grab the viewer’s eye.  There will obviously be other objects in some of your photos.  But the way you compose your photo should make it obvious what the focal point is.

Compose Better Photos

Decide on the Focal Point

Perhaps this is obvious, too.  But YOU are the photographer.  YOU get to decide on the focal point.  This decision shouldn’t be left up to chance.

I don’t want you to analyze the situation for 10 minutes trying to decide what the focal point is—this is a split second decision.  Or maybe a 5 second decision.  But please decide and don’t keep your viewer guessing!

I think it is important to be deliberate about what you want to photograph.  This decision will determine what you allow in your photo and what you  purposely leave out.

For instance, if I decide that I want to photograph my son’s eyelashes, that photo will look very different from a photo where I decide to photograph him on a walk.  The first may only have a portion of my son’s face in the photo, while the other one would likely show his whole body as well as his surroundings.

Focal Point

Don’t Allow Things to Detract

Whatever you decide to photograph, don’t let other things into your frame that will detract from your subject.  I am not saying that there shouldn’t be anything else in your frame.  I just want you to be conscious about what is there and ensure that it isn’t detracting from your subject.

Composing Better Photos: Focal Point via

Focus on the Focal Point

I couldn’t help this one  :)  Typically, the focal point should be in focus.  I KNOW that there are exceptions to this.  However, as a general rule, if your focal point is somewhere else besides the focal point of your photo your viewer will be confused.

Making your decision about a focal point will also help you know what part of your photo should be most in focus.

I hope these tips help you compose better photos!

Happy Photographing!

Gayle Vehar for