Photography tips: Shooting square
As a photographer that shoots for a living I’m a big fan of always going back to why I started this in the first place and that’s because it’s something that I enjoy doing. Practice not only makes you better but more importantly it keeps the passion alive and with that work never feels like work. My favorite form to practice is with my Polaroid camera or pulling out my iPhone and using Instagram.
Shooting square is nothing new and has been around since 1929 with Rollei. As for the purpose of it, there isn’t one really its just different. Strong composition happens by making things simple and a square image places your subject dead center usually and thus fills in that negative space and makes everything simple.
So why shoot square? Essentially you’re taking cropping one third of your image and leaving the strongest two thirds. This is something you’d do when shooting in a rectangle anyway but now you’re taking that strong image and really bumping it up a few notches. Now keep in mind an image with poor composition will not suddenly be great because you went back and shot it square, a poor image will always remain a poor image.
When shooting square look for shapes that are consistent and line them up so that the viewers eye follows through the image. Also if you’re shooting a flower place the flower dead center and now the stem becomes a line for the viewer’s eye to follow to the flower itself.
Another thing to consider is keeping the colors in your image to a minimum. To keep things really simple try shooting square in black and white. Now you’ll really start looking for strong lines and shapes and you’ll really start looking for shadows.
Finally there are also toy cameras such as Holga and Diana that also shoot square but now you’ll be shooting exclusively on film. Not entirely bad and my favorite medium but if you’re raised on digital just keep in keep mind there is no photo shop and getting it right the first time is key.
As for me I like to shoot portraits square and still life objects that I find when I’m out. Below are some images posted to my Instagram account that just caught my eye. So try going square and see what you to can come up with. Happy shooting.
You can find me on Instagram here