Emphasized an Image: 12 Proven Ways for Emphasis Photography in Seconds

man standing on the edge of the pier over lake background Photo by Adib Harith Fadzilah on Unsplash

Emphasis on photography is one of the most crucial things to consider. You must be wondering what emphasis is in photography and how you can emphasize a photograph.

Worry not. In this article, we shall discuss in detail what emphasis in photography is and explore a few proven ways of doing so.

What Does Emphasized an Image Mean in Photography

In photography, emphasizing a given image mainly involves making a given area or element in a frame memorable so that it stands out from the rest.

How you emphasize your subject matters a great deal regarding the impact your photo will have. It might make the photo powerful or weaken it.

How To Emphasize Your Photo

There are several ways to create an emphasis image. Here are some of the ways to emphasize your subject in your photos:

1. Be at a Great Distance From Your Subject

lighthouse in the edge of beach

Photo by Markéta Marcellová on Unsplash

This may not sound like a good idea. But, taking your shot a few feet further out from the subject will make everything look natural, with plenty of details to complete your photograph.

For instance, if you are taking a snapshot of a lighthouse with a beautiful view in the background, the scale of your photograph is going to be good when you stand a bit further back, but most importantly, the lighthouse is going to retain the detail captured.

That way, you can focus and get the desired emphasis picture of the lighthouse and with it, the landscape in full glory.

2. Incorporate a Small Aperture

a woman holding a strawberry and putting near the camera

Photo by chris panas on Unsplash

It makes it possible to further emphasize the subject by using a blurred background.

It works wonders in a photo because it is the base on which the subject is supposed to be, and the background is just a small complement to the picture. It leads the viewer's eyes to the subject in the image, making the picture more appealing.

3. Move Closer to Your Subject

close shot photo of cat looking camera

Photo by Maira Souza on Unsplash

Getting as close as possible to your subject fills the frame with it. This is just ideal when taking close-up shots where all details of the subject have to be shown.

It also helps to concentrate interest only on your subject, making the photo striking. Make sure you zoom in with your feet since doing it with the camera zoom leaves you with low quality and a loss of detail most of the time.

4. Use the Rule of Thirds

flower on crack in the wood floor

Photo by Arnold Leow on Unsplash

It's a simple rule of composition that allow you to put your subject off-center in an image, which is one of the most striking ways to make it more visually appealing.

You place your subjects at the intersection of these lines for a more balanced and visually interesting composition.

Today, most cameras have a rule-of-thirds grid that you can enable within the viewfinder to guide you while photographing, whether landscape or portrait.

5. Stay Away From Busy Backgrounds 

Kate Abstract texture beige a little green color Maternity/family photo Backdrop

One outstanding way of emphasizing subjects in your photograph is to place them on colored backgrounds, not busy ones. This is because it will make them stand out more and be the main focus of the photo. Do not go for those busy backgrounds and patterns which may deviate the attention and ruin the overall thrust of the photograph.

You can also angle the shots to ensure the background is not is in focus ensuring that the main focus is on the subject.

6. Use Negative Space

Photo by Adib Harith Fadzilah on Unsplash 

A photograph can be created in which the viewer's eye is immediately drawn to your subject through negative space.

This is because naturally, the human eye is attracted to the brightest, most vividly colored part of the shot, and in most cases, this is the subject.

However, if you put negative space around the subject, then you can get a photo where the subject is isolated. This is a great way to increase the subjects significance and drawing viewer’s attention to it..

In minimalist photography,negative space is everything. The subject most often lies directly in the center of the frame, and moreover,  there is nothing included in the photo that can draw the viewer’s attention from it.

7. Apply the Color Theory

blue orange with blue background

Photo by davisuko on Unsplash 

The theory of colors is one of the best ways to emphasize a subject in photos. By understanding the various colors and how they all interrelate with one another, you can be very effective at making an emphasized picture.

An intense subject in your image goes well with complementary colors, like reds and purples or yellows with greens. These contrastive colors somehow give a more forceful, bolder contrast, making your subject more forceful and noticeable. 

You could also use monochromatic schemes, where different shades of one color are used. This can work well with a more polished look. Apart from the monochromatic and complementary color schemes, there are also triadic color schemes, applying three colors sited at an equal distance on the color wheel.

They make the whole look more harmonious and allow your subject to stand out.

8. Highlight Your Subject Using Contrast

little girl taking photo by resting her chin on hands

 Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

Light enables you to add contrast, which sets your subject apart solidly. Or you may lighten your subject and render the background dark, or else you may render the background dark and your subject dark.

You may even decide to lighten the subject with artificial light to keep the background bright. It is a masterpiece if one could be able to make the subject stand alone and detached from the backdrop.

This is much more in the world of portrait and street photography. Just imagine how boring a shot of a person would look if you captured them using a white wall with lighting that was just even across.

Backlight them, and you'll be rewarded with a lovely rim light that surprisingly outlines and accents the subject of the photo.

Black and white photography is all about contrast. Have your subject stand before a solid black frame and then light them up with a single light source. You will have a beautiful contrast.

This will bring all the attention to catching the viewer's eye and emphasizing your subject in the frame.

9. Create Leading Lines

man walking on the extending road

Photo by Julie Kwak on Unsplash

Leading lines are the most effective way of leading the viewer's eye to your main subject.

That can be in the form of a path that leads to a mountain; staircases leading up to an entrance of a door, or even an outstretched arm of a person leads toward something in the distance.

Leading lines comfortably lead the viewer's eye to a subject and then accentuate it inside the frame. Whatever way you design or model the lines, they will bring focus to your subject.

Leading lines can be straight or curved. But none of these make them any less powerful or more powerful. The leading lines create an excellent subject in a photograph, whether a landscape or a portrait.

Just have the confidence that those lines lead up to your subject, and you are assured a great shot focusing on your topic of choice.

10. Use Your Frame Within the Frame

forest plants through the round stone door

 Photo by Vitor Vilas Boas on Unsplash

It will make framing your subject better and the photograph more alive.

This could be anything from a doorway framing someone walking into the scene to using a tree branch to frame a bird in flight.

This can be used to make your photo visually pleasing, but you can help your subject stand out by underlining it.

You should shoot at a vantage point that enables you to view the frame within a frame, so be extremely mindful of the composition and ensure that your subject is centered.

11. Utilize Complementary Textures

pear on rose red cloth

Photo by Sirikorn Chaiwut on Unsplash

The textures on your subject complements the object of the picture. If your subject has smooth skin, include a textured background that will hugely contrast this.  Put a furry or feathery subject down on a smooth, monochromatic surface, and the subject will pop.

The possibilities are endless, but by thinking about the textures in your scene, you can help create a more interesting and visually pleasing photo.

12. Look Out for Something Unique

a red tulip among white ones

 Photo by Mert Kahveci on Unsplash

When out shooting, always look for something unique and different to emphasize with your subject. It might be color, texture, pattern, or light. Find a vantage point that will enable you to shoot your subjects in a way that makes them outstanding from the surroundings.

Look at the background and see if there is anything you can use to your advantage against which the subject would stand out. For instance, with a field of red flowers, a white flower in the foreground would stand out against the background.


One of the best things is giving a photograph that visual interest and punch with image emphasis.

All these well-supported ways of doing so shall finally allow you to place in your pictures this all-important element of visual flare—in just a snap.

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