**NOTE: All photographs used in this tutorial were shot and retouched by myself, including those that have the Vogue logo as they have been published on Vogue.it
Step 1: Composition
For example: if you have a subject with a face, be it a person, flower, animal, etc. if the "face" is pointing towards the edge of the photograph with space behind it, the viewer has nowhere to go from there. When photographing something with a face, it is always best to leave more space in front of the face than behind it to lead the viewer into the rest of the photograph.
Step 2: Composition - Rule of Thirds
When using the Rule of Thirds, you want to keep the subject on or as close to the 4 intersections in the graph. This will give you a much more interesting photograph, and lead the viewer into the rest of the photo. In the example I used, typeography can be put into the negative space of the image and the bird can easily lead the viewer to the copy.
You can also use the rule of thirds as a guideline to create offset photographs, which place the subject towards the edge of the photograph while maintaining a visually appealing theme.
Step 3: Composition - Leading Lines and the Hogarth Line of Beauty
*Tip: when using a leading line, it is much more effective if the line is not coming directly from a corner. You can skew it so that it is coming from above or below the actual corner if you're still set on it coming from the corner of the photograph.
Another popular form of leading line is the Hogarth Line of Beauty. This leading line usually comes in the form of an S curve, but any curved line within a photograph can also be considered a Hogarth line.
**FUN FACT: the Hogarth Line of Beauty was named after William Hogarth after he came up with his theory of Asthetics as described in his "Asthetics of Beauty." According to the theory, the S curve signifies liveliness and activity and excite the attention of the viewer, while straight lines, parallels, right-angled or intersecting lines represent stasis, death or inanimate objects.
Step 4: Lighting
The proper lighting can give the viewer a sense of mood or emotion. Dramatic or harsh lighting can make the viewer feel excited, depressed, scared, etc. Softer or diffused lighting gives the viewer an idea of the shape of the subject, and can create a sense of dreaminess or lightness.
*Tip: if using sunlight as your light source, the best times of day to shoot are early in the morning and in the late afternoon to the evening. Mid day light gives off little or no shadows as it is directly above and can be harsh with the shadows. Also, contrary to popular belief, bright, sunny, cloudless days are NOT the best days to shoot. The quality of light is much better on overcast days because the clouds cut out the harshness of the sun and diffuse the light.
Step 5: Subject
Happy shooting! :)