Leading lines in photography are some of the best ways to naturally tell the viewer where to look–besides using depth of field, rule of thirds and more. But they’re very important in regards to portraits because of the way that it can make a body specifically look. The folks over at Weekly Imogen talk about specifics like using corners and other lines based on the specifics of the portraiture (such as posing.)
Essentially what they’re saying is to use natural areas but don’t look at your scene in terms of simple emphasis on your subject. Instead, they’re trying to teach you to look at the entire scene. Don’t think that’s important? Consider the fact that simple things that are out of focus can end up bothering viewers because of the way that it looks like they’re coming out of a person’s body.
One of the absolute best ways to teach yourself to look at leading lines is to shoot an image and render it in black and white. Then after this, print the image out and draw the lines out on another sheet of paper. Look at the shape and decide whether it’s interesting or not. This exercise will teach you to see the world in a different way.
The video on using leading lines is after the jump.