Eliminating negative space in the foreground

Over the years, we have spent a lot of time, money, and energy into learning our photo craft, specifically around composition. It's not an easy thing to learn (or teach for that matter!) because it is so heavily dependent on style and preference! While I don't think that I'll ever be able to share a photo tip that is truly right or wrong, there are a handful of tricks we have learned over the years that have let us make tiny adjustments with POWERFUL outcomes. One of these little "miracle" changes is what I'm sharing today: eliminating negative space in the foreground

The hard part about this trick is that it's looks natural, but doesn't feel natural when shooting. Maybe it's because we are so comfortable putting subjects smack dab in the middle of the frame or maybe it's because in the heat of the moment it's so hard to force ourselves to think this way, but doing this in-camera isn't easy! It takes a lot of purposeful choices when behind the lens, but is so worth it! Promise! 

Eliminating negative space in the foreground will...

  • Create more powerful images
  • Remove distractions
  • Create images that are pleasing to the eye
  • Maintain consistency from image to image

But remember...

  • Keep the feet! Nothing grinds my gears more than seeing half a foot or part of an ankle in a photo! Maybe this is just my odd pet peeve... :)
  • Maintain or create balance in the image. This is so subjective, but worth saying. 
  • There are plenty of times when foreground is a necessary element in telling a story or highlighting an important feature of the day. Don't be afraid to use it - just use it PURPOSEFULLY!

You can see how powerful the image on the right is in comparison to the left?!

I've always been a fan of keeping only what is necessary. See the comparison between this image...

And this one! The adjustment is small, but it really works to clean up the image and create focus on Cath and Rob!

The image on the left was before my adjustment and the image on the right was after. So easy and so impactful! Notice how the adjustment on the right also helps to balance the image between Cath and Rob and the tree branch...

I can't write this post without the final disclaimer that there are plenty of times when we use foreground as a major advantage in composition. Often times we use branches and leaves to frame our clients... or in the case below, we used the flower petals in the aisle to create a visual "path" to the subjects. The most important take away from this trick is not to never have foreground in images, but instead to use foreground with PURPOSE

Feel to share your own "miracle" photo tricks! I would love to here yours!