Framing Your Photos, Naturally

EDITOR’S NOTE: In an effort to help parents who are completely clueless about how to take a decent photo, we will on occasion post tips from Shannon Carlson of Photography By Shannon.
When you are composing a shot of your children, pets, husbands, friends, or potted plants, look for natural frames to bring the focus over to your subject. You can use just about anything, windows, trees, poles, branches, tires, door frames, mountains, fences, train tracks. Anything that looks interesting and enhances the pictures can be a frame. Your frame can be on 2, 3 or all 4 sides. It is usually better for your frame to be darker than your subject, plain or out of focus so that it doesn’t become distracting. Look for places that form a natural arch or circle, like overhanging trees. Once you start looking, you will see them everywhere! Below are a few examples of natural frames.

The large branches create the sides of our frame and the leaves close the top. The triangle created by our frame leads our eyes to the subjects and keeps our eyes on them.

The metal railing creates interesting dynamic lines in the image while leading your eyes to the most important part of the picture, the boys faces.
This frame only has two sides, but the dark heavy wood anchors the image and leads our eyes to the lighter portion of the image, the girls face.