As with any type of photography, portrait composition is key to great results. It’s what determines the intent, goal and impact of your work. Many of the composition rules work well for portrait photography. However, if you’re just starting out, you might want to master a handful of basic techniques first so you don’t get overwhelmed.

In the video above by professional portrait photographer and educator Joel Grimes, he talks about six of the most important composition rules for portraits. First, he explains the goal of effective composition: leading the eyes of the viewer to a specific point of interest. Also, these tips or rules don’t set your compositions in stone. So, you have to work with your intuition to determine where or what that point of interest is. Most of the time, you’ll even have several rules of composition working together to create the best results. Essentially, your creative vision is your guide for this.

Among these rules include classics like the Rule of Thirds, leading lines and thinking in triangles, which actually work really good together. Some photographers think that symmetry is cliche. However, it’s actually effective technique for portrait composition when done right.

Need more portrait composition tips and inspiration? Make sure you’ve already joined the Photofocus Community so you can take part in group discussions with your fellow portrait photographers!