A well composed image will always stand out. Composition is probably my favorite technical aspect of photography and I tend to look at composing my image the same way a designer or artist looks at a blank canvas. There are lots of things that come into play when you think about the composition of an image and here are some things I keep in mind when I'm envisioning a capture.
1. Keep the rule of thirds in mind and be on the lookout for leading lines and framing opportunities.
The rule of thirds, leading lines and framing are all ways to compose your image for the most visual impact. The rule of thirds (check out this blog post for a complete description + examples) is a method of composing your image into a third of your frame. By placing your focal point or subject in just a third of your frame, you are creating more "blank space" in your image and are drawing your reader in to what you are capturing and helping to tell your story.
You can read all about why I love leading lines in this post, but for the most part, leading lines help to draw your viewer attentions to your subject and can also enhance the depth and dimension of an image. Framing (another favorite of mine) adds visual interest to a capture and helps to focus on the subject at hand!
2. Simplify the scene
Too many objects in your scene will distract from your overall subject being captured. If it doesn't add to my story, I usually prefer to shoot around any unwanted objects by changing my perspective (shooting looking up, looking down, filling my frame). Simplifying the scene and being selective of what to include is going to make your subject the star of the image!
3. Add depth + texture
A photo is a one-dimensional object, but you can add interest and draw a viewer in with depth and textures. Shooting with a wider open aperture or changing your shooting perspective are awesome ways to make an image pop.
There are many other things to consider when composing an image. The ones I listed above are just some of the things I keep in mind when envisioning a photo. The most important thing to remember about all of these is that they aren't set in stone. You don't have to follow the rule of thirds on every single photo. You don't have to shoot around any objects that may not be a big part of your story. Photography is an art and it's unique for each individual. I always try to learn the "rules" and know how they can enhance an image and then decide for myself how and when to "break them"!