Composition rules for Instagram photography

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When it comes to create a beautiful picture, a lot depends on how do you compose it. How do you make it stand out of the rest. Everybody clicks a picture, but only a few can compose them better. Composing a picture is also an art. An art of placing a subject in the frame. It entirely depends on the photographer. Composition techniques differ from photographer to photographer.

Here are some composition rules and guidelines that you can apply in your Instagram pictures.


The Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is by far the most common composition guideline, and while it works best for landscape photos, there are times when it also works in square format. Rule-of-thirds works best if the subjects are large such as the windmill, a building, a tower, etc.
However, for smaller subjects moving them more towards the edge of the photo works great.  For example, to put more emphasis on the vastness of the beach, place the walking man on extreme left or right of the frame.

“Upgrade” The Rule of Thirds

Rather than simply placing the subjects “more towards the edge” than suggested by the rule of thirds, it can be very helpful to think about your Instagram square photos in terms of smaller squares that are created by the grid lines.  When you apply rule-of-thirds to your Instagram photography, place smaller objects / subjects centrally in square number 8 and reserve square number 5 for a strong subject. Sometimes placing a subject within the square works much better than placing them on the intersection point of the grid lines. For taller subjects like buildings, towers, trees, windmills etc place it centrally in the squares on the right or left side (i.e centrally in the square 3,6 &9 or in the square 1, 4 & 7).

Leading Lines

Leading lines are the lines that draw viewer's attention towards the subject in a photo. It is a little challenging to put leading lines in a square frame like that of Instagram. Mainly because of one reason, there isn't much space for them around the subject. In case of square photos, you can also use leading lines extending from the foreground into the background.

Shoot in Landscape, Then Crop

Shooting in landscape mode will help you compose square photos more accurately. So, it is better to photograph in landscape or portrait mode.

Break All The Rules

Remember, there are no hard rules and guidelines in photography. It is good if you follow some, but you can always break them. Trust you gut feeling and bring out your artistic self. Ignore all the composition rules & guidelines. Do what you feel is right for you.

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