I love filling the frame in my portrait images. I reckon that as I’ve paid for all those pixels I might as well use them all. However, there are times when you get a better image by leaving empty space in the frame.
Take this studio portrait of a child for example. I really liked the expression on his face, and the tilt of his head to the right, and thought that placing him in the left-hand side of the frame made for an interesting composition.
With this environmental portrait, the child’s head is in a similar place, with a similar amount of empty space, but the different expression and close-up treatment makes for a completely different effect. The dark area of background is balanced by the light area of his face.
Finally, with this outdoor portrait lit by studio flash, the relationship between the child in the foreground and the darker plants in the background was important. I placed him well down in the frame to allow us to see past him to the mysterious background.
This use of off-centre composition, and creative use of space, is covered in our photographic training course “The Creative Eye”. You can find details at www.lifestylephotos.co.uk