Photography Cheat Sheet: 19 Composition Tips You Should Know

Whether you’ve just started to take photography more seriously or farther along into it, the composition tips in this photography cheat sheet are worth checking out.

Composition is key for taking outstanding photographs. It’s one of the first things a person who enjoys taking photographs learns. A photo can be technically sound — well-exposed, properly focused, and tack-sharp — but if it’s poorly composed, it won’t be a great photo. Today’s photography cheat sheet has some excellent tips that will improve your composition and create stronger photos in the process.

This handy photography cheat sheet was put together by The Lens Lounge, along with a tutorial that explains each composition technique. A number of these, such as the Rule of Thirds and Leading Lines, are commonly mentioned in basic photography lessons. Others are more advanced techniques that will help you achieve more creative results. Once you’ve practiced these composition rules enough, you’ll eventually have the foundations for experimenting with your own adjustments to get the shots you want.

Mastering these composition techniques can be greatly useful for a variety of photography genres. Street photography, for example, will benefit from the skillful use of Rule of Thirds, Framing, Leading Lines, and Filling the Frame for close-up street portraits. If you’re into minimalist aesthetics and abstract photography, you’ll want to know how to use Rule of Odds, Rule of Space, Color, and Patterns in your composition. For portrait photography, you’ll need to know how to integrate Depth of Field, Simplicity, and Differential Focus to achieve great results.

If you want to go in-depth about getting better compositions, we also suggest checking out these resources on shooting in a triangle composition, using positive and negative space, and nine composition tips as seen in Steve McCurry’s work.