Elja Trum

Portrait tip: don't leave to much headroom

monday 19 june 2017, 14:14 by | 1,006 views | 0 comments

One of the most common mistakes that (beginner) photographers make is to leave to much headroom above their subject's head. Easy enough to fix once you've become aware of it.


f/3.5, 1/800s, 100 ISO @ 70mm

Casual camera users often frame the head in the middle of the picture. It's the most important part of the image, so they focus on that and place it right in the middle.

This leaves lots of empty headroom above the models head. That's a shame, because more often than not there is nothing of interest above someones head.

The part below someones head is more interesting; you'll see the models clothing or perhaps something he or she is holding in their hands. By re-framing to leave little headroom the photo will become much more interesting.

So try to leave the headroom above your model to a minimum. leaving a small stroke of headroom is smart. This will set your models apart from the edge of your frame.

Elja Trum

About the author

Elja has a passion for portrait photography. He is the author of a book on black and white photography and owner of Photofacts.nl, the largest Dutch blog about photography. You can follow him and his work on Instagram.


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Elja Trum

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