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How can framing make portraits cooler?

In photography, framing someone doesn't have a negative connotation. It's a good thing. So, what is photographic "framing?" For me, to frame my subject is to use some element of the environment to add emphasis to my subject. Here's an example:

Here, we've used the pillars to frame this little boy.

Framing brings attention to your subjects. It draws your eye to them. It refines your portrait and makes your composition appear more purposeful.

Anything can be used as a frame. Some frames are obvious:

This different in wall material made for a perfect frame for this couple. You can see that it puts more emphasis on them. This makes the composition more professional.

Certainly, a beautiful arched walkway makes a perfect frame:

Here's another obvious frame we used:

This is literally a square frame that we used to focus all of the attention on the subjects.

Some frames are not so obvious. They could just be simple color differences in the background:

The receding strip of grass made for a perfect frame around this little girl. Again, it's making this simple portrait look more refined and professional.

Often, using the something in the foreground can be used as a frame. Here are few examples:

You can see frames anywhere. They can be big or small. In this case, we saw identical buildings and used them as a frame even though they were very large:

You can see frames anywhere. If you take the time to look around and see how you can frame your subject, you can take an average portrait and make it look exceptional with an effective frame.


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