When constructing an image in the camera it’s very easy to crowd your viewfinder with lots of confusing elements – leaving the viewer wondering what to look at. They will then get bored and move on and you’ve lost their attention. Keep their attention by de-cluttering your image. If your subject is big, bold and obvious with fewer elements your viewer will know what the subject is – you will then draw them in and keep their attention.
Leaving space around your subject works well – room to breathe. Make sure your subject stands out from the background – you can do this by removing distractions (you may just have to move one step to the left or right), use a small ‘depth of field’, use contrast or even colour. If you’re photographing a yellow flower – put it against a dark background or at least different colour so that the yellow flower stands out. Again you may only have to move your camera a couple of centimetres but it can make all the difference. All very simple stuff but steps that can improve your image no end
If you like shooting the odd portrait, let’s say a head & shoulders shot – try to leave space around the subject. The shot may well look better with your camera held in landscape rather than ‘portrait’ orientation. A strange anomaly but works very well. Try to avoid that bullseye shot (i.e. putting your subject in the middle). Don’t be afraid to crop through foreheads – it works. If your subject is looking right or left – be sure try to put some space on that side of the image to look into. Shooting from a high viewpoint can also work well – it will flatter your subject and create interest