There are many different photography techniques that can be used to enhance and strengthen your images, today I will be talking to you about using framing. We will discuss different types of framing and how to enhance your images with framing! By using framing effectively, it will help tell your story.
Framing can be very obvious in your image; it can be complex or you can also use it very subtly and add a simple and soft element that brings your story to life. In this post I will talk to you about 4 different kinds of framing that you can use in your imagery:
Each category is pretty much self explanatory but let’s go through each one.
This type of framing is found within the environment, you have trees, grass, flowers, leaves or even mountains. I love using natural frames and I usually find them by observing where my kids are exploring.
With any kind of framing, it’s all about the positioning. You need to place yourself just right so that your subject is the focus of your image and the frame leads your eye to them and surrounds them. When using natural frames found in nature, just keep in mind to watch out for any twigs or branches sticking out of your subject’s head, sometimes it’s unavoidable if you’re surrounded by a forest, but, if possible, make sure to keep an eye on your subject and also their surroundings.
Next time you’re out, take the time to slow down and observe your surroundings. I always look for natural frames when I’m trying to change up my perspectives and give my image a little more mystery or excitement.
This type of framing means you are using something man made to create your frame. Buildings, railings, playgrounds etc. (never train tracks – unless you are at a train museum and the tracks are decommissioned and not in service).
Structural framing may not seem exciting but you can get pretty creative with your scene when you find the right frame to enhance the story of your image.
Playgrounds are a great place to start practicing your framing if you have kids. When my kids were younger, we used to spend a lot of time at the playground so I was always looking for some new way to take a similar image (Project 365’ers raise your hands, haha). Playgrounds offer so many great frames when your young kids are the subject. Now that my kids are a bit older, I find myself using chairs, railings and other forms of structural framing.
When it comes to light framing, many times it will be harsh dramatic light and the rest of your scene may fall to shadow but that won’t always be the case either.
You can use soft morning light, string lights, a copper tube that creates a ring of fire around your subject and so many other fun light options to create a frame around your subject. Sometimes I also like to play with shadows and frame it within the harsh light creating it.
Light framing is a more subtle way to use framing in your image and may not always jump out at you right away but once you start seeing how much interest it can bring to your image, you’ll start looking for ways to create with it.
Now it’s time to have some fun and get your creative juices flowing. Think of everything as a frame. If you place your subjects just right you really have endless options to start getting some creative frames that will really make your image speak.
What do your kids enjoy doing? Legos? Bike rides?
Have them build a tower of Legos you can shoot through and capture some details of their hands building, or the expressions they make as they concentrate on their build.
Go for a bike ride and get them involved. Ask one kiddo to ride by as quick and close to you as they can while you shoot their siblings or friends through the bike tires. Use the handle bars to frame their joy of going for a ride with you. So many great options and each one brings a different element of strength to your image.
Another great option for getting creative is to use double exposures and frame your subject within your subject matter. If you shoot with Canon, you can see your image overlay when creating your double exposure so it comes in handy if you want to create a frame.
Now that you have 4 great options to look out for when you’re shooting with framing in mind, get out there and keep your eye out for something unique that can enhance your image and then share them with us in the Hello Storyteller community or give me a shout over on my Instagram (Anna Hurley @anna_m_hurley). I’d love to see what you create!
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