The Most Important Tool In Your Photography Arsenal – The Ability to ‘Fill The Frame’

Something that I’ve been collecting over the years is a document filled with my favorite photography quotes. This document contains quotes from all the masters such as Angel Adams, Helmut Newton, and even modern contemporary photographers such as Annie Leibowitz. The one that I was looking at today comes from photography instructor Rick Sammon, and it really hit a chord with what I’ve been doing lately. The quote is “the name of the game is to fill the frame.”

So what does this mean? Well, have you ever been walking down the beach and seen a beautiful seashell? Sure you’re surrounded by ocean and sand, but in that moment all you see is a beautiful seashell. Your mind fixes its gaze, and only begins to focus on the detail in that shell. This is how, as photographers, we should use our tools to draw the viewer’s eye, emotions, and perception. As a photographer, we should use this concept to get close and fill the frame.

Being up close and personal to a subject brings the viewer in. This technique allows us to lean forward and examine all the small details that make up the wondrous object before us. Filling the frame offers a sense of completeness, clarity, inclusion, and comfort. We essentially “dive in,” and experience the true essence of what the subject has to offer.

This theory of “to fill the frame” can be applied to any and all forms of photography that you run into. Landscape, macro, portrait, architecture, product, wedding, lifestyle… You should always “fill the frame.”

Why…because in today’s world, there is no use for extraneous material. There’s no need for clutter. We must be taken to the exact point of interest that you as a photographer are trying to show, and include nothing else.

This theory of course, is not a “hard and fast law.” It is only a theory… Another tool in your arsenal in order to most efficiently and effectively broadcast your message.

An example of this would be photographing a lone bird on a telephone pole. What emotions are you trying to show? If it’s aloneness, and you want the viewer to feel a sense that the bird is the only thing in its environment… Do you think you should “fill the frame?” Probably not. You would most likely want to frame the bird with lots of open space around it to evoke this emotion. So of course, use your best judgment.

I hope the theory of “filling the frame” is helpful in your pursuit and journey of opening your mind and sharing your imagery with the world. Take it, move forward and enjoy.

Lucas Martling is the founder of he teaches photographers how to maximize their efforts in photography, post-processing, social media, and running a successful photography business. His latest program titled “The Photography Social Media Formula” is in it’s final stages for release.

Capture the Moment With Engagement Photography

Celebrating and memorializing an engagement is important to many couples because it signifies the first official step toward committing to one another for life. Because it is so important, increasing numbers of couples are choosing to have engagement photography sessions. While these types of shoots have been around for quite a while, they have only recently started to become a mainstream trend. A large part of the reason is because engagement sessions no longer have to be traditional. Quite a number of years ago, engagement photos were simply treated as traditional portrait sessions for couples but today there are no hard and fast rules. Depending on the type and number of photos you choose to have taken, these sessions can run as much as several hundred dollars. When making such a large expenditure, it is important to ensure that you are getting the absolute best and that your engagement photos are exactly what you wanted.

First, shop around for photographers that will offer you the most engagement photography bang for the buck. Ask to see samples of their previous work and ask if they have references from past clients that you can access. Discuss your wishes for your photography session and get a price quote for the entire package. Many photographers will throw in the engagement package for free if you book your wedding photography with them as well. If this is the case, get a price quote for the wedding photography package and see if you are still getting a good deal over what you would pay for each type of package separately.

Once you have chosen your engagement photography professional, work closely with him or her to develop a plan for pictures that will capture the essence of your relationship. Try a combination of indoor and outdoor photos, including formal poses, fun shots, silhouettes, and romantic moments. Making sure that you capture the personality of both you and your intended spouse will make the photos much more special than simply taking traditional portraits. It will also portray a lively image of you as a couple that will be cherished by you and your children as years go by.

Engagement photography is a great way to memorialize the first moments of your official committed relationship and to create a record of this time that can be enjoyed by your family for years to come. Make sure to choose the right photographer and to stick within your acceptable budget range before booking your session.