Photography Composition: Negative Space
Composition, Lifestyle


As we explore just some of the many photography composition methods, I would talk about negative space. I love it & use it often.
Negative space basically means the space surrounding your main subject. Using negative space is a way to bring out & add emphasis to your main subject even though it might the smallest thing in the image.2013-1-15

Read more: How to use leading lines to create amazing photos

I find pictures using negative space to be more simple, clean & easier on the eyes. I think it offers the eye a pleasing way to scan across the frame, organize information & identify the most important part without being over stimulated with other “stuff.”

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There really is is so much you can do with negative space to transform everyday images & make them more powerful. You can be dramatic or subtle with your use of negative space images to produce so many different results.

This is also a skill you can teach your children! Read more: Photography for Kids


When I shoot for clients I tend to use negative space in a much more subtle way. When I shoot for myself I am more risky & obvious with it.ameerah + chad-80

The key is finding a good balance between the bodies of space, to find a pleasing composition & to know when to use it or when not to use it. As you get familiar with it, you can create negative space with creative cropping but after you study it & get to know this method more you will begin to see it as you go in camera.

We’d love to see some of YOUR favorites!

Read more in our photography composition series:

Creating Depth in Your Image
4 Types of Framing
11 Photography Composition Rules to Know to Improve your Photography

  • Sarah
    November 15, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    I’m just loving this series! Thanks for running it, Courtney!

  • November 15, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    I never knew it was called negative space. I love it! Now I actually know what it’s called I can explore it properly. I love negative space it’s so dramatic and emotional. I read the other day and he uses this technique a lot. The result was very powerful.

    Thank you for sharing,


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