Adding impact and drama to your images by layering shots

Today’s post is about something that is actually very simple to do, and adds lots of depth to our compositions and is also fun to experiment with! Layering compositions.

Any time that you can take an image from having 2 layers (which is common in most images) and add another layer, the composition becomes much more 3 dimensional and adds impact. Many images are simply a subject and a background like this shot.

But if we can find a way to add another layer to the composition, then we can add impact and drama to the shot and many times further pull ourselves out of the shot and make it more about the client.


The next image below is a nice moment of the groom smiling after seeing the bride for the first time. Simple shot with the couple in the foreground and a simple background.


But this below images is sooo much more dramatic! When Jody captured this, she saw these tree branches and quickly jumped behind them and framed the couple in-between a clearing. The images seems much more emotional and it appears as though we are peering in on the moment.

This last example is an image we shot WAY back in 2008 after shooting for just about a year. We were shooting the groomsmen with some cool blue skies doing our off-camera lighting. We lined them up, stuck them in the frame and shot it.

But it seemed to not have the impact I was going for, so we re-framed the image to what you see below…

In the final shot, we simply placed the camera on the ground and shot through the tall grass to get a third layer added to the composition. This also eliminated the treeline in the original shots background and instead only has sky as the backdrop which adds tons of drama.

So go out and try adding that third layer to your compositions this week and see what you come up with! If you have some great ones you shot, leave a link to them on your Facebook page or blog so we can all learn from you!!