Do you see "The Line"?!

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…”The Line”, that is. Do you see “The Line” in your images?  I’ve started talking about “The Line” like it’s a living being. I’ll come home from a wedding and will be scanning through images (normally at 3am, bad bad bad) and I’ll see him…. “The Line”.  He shows up in the best of the best portraits, in the detail shots, bridal party shots. Any GOOD shot has to have a little bit of “The Line”.  Some other photographers have emailed me about composition and visualizing shots beforehand and really, I just depend on the two “L’s”… The LIGHT and the LINE.  Light is a whole other concept that we could spend years and years discussing.

LINE however, isn’t as complex.  Basically, if you have “The Line”, you can make gooood composition. The line should direct movement to or from your subject and it provides a way for  the eye to enter and leave the page. Did that sound nerdy or what?! Well, it’s true.  Line is so key in having good shots. In fact, I guarantee you that your favorite shots have some type of good line in them! Finding the line isn’t always easy but if you’re creative and think visually, you’ll be able to pick it out in a heartbeat!


Some tips about finding “The Line” would be to off-center your subjects and look for “The Line” in their surroundings.  For Ben and Mary’s image below, that is exactly what I did.  I placed them off-centered and then re-positioned myself so that I could see the lines pointing directly towards them! I know, you’re probably thinking “Well DUH Katelyn, those lines are super noticeable!….

… Ok, well take David and Rochelle’s image for example. The line in this image was not as easy to pick out in (especially since there was a huge shed right on the other side of that tree trunk!).  However, once they were standing there, being all happy and married, I moved around so that I could find their lines! It was in the tree! Who knew?!

These lines are a little more faint but they still direct the eye towards the subject!

Can you find the rest?!

I love how this line flows off the page so well! Yay for curvy sand dunes!

PHOTOGRAPHERS! Another tip would be to ADD some of your favorite images with good lines to your DesignBook! If you’re a photographer, keep a folder that is JUST for shots with composition that you like and want to try at your next session. They you can go to that folder for inspiration!  I do that with other photographers… except they don’t have a DesignBook so I drag images to the a messy pile on my desktop. Take advantage of your own personal space on the blog! The DesignBook is your friend!

Now go and find “The Line” in your own images! I’m sure that some of your BEST shots will most definitely have some great lines and awesome composition! Enjoy your friday and have a fabulous weekend! Off to shoot Chris and Katie’s wedding in Greenville, SC and I am so pumped!

xoxo, Katelyn
7 Comments Ask Anything, Education
  1. Tira J reply

    Great post Katelyn!

  2. Susan Dukat reply

    great post – love the examples!

  3. Lisa reply

    Thanks for the tips, your work is truly captivating.

  4. Girish reply

    Thank you for this wonderful tip regarding the lines.

    One more thing, I don’t know why or is it my connection, but the site loads bit slow compared to some other blogs which are image heavy as well. It’s something I am noticing from a long time, but thought of mentioning it today.

  5. Elizabeth reply

    Katelyn, this post is excellent. Its always nice to see another artist using “the line” in their work. As an interior designer, so much of my work involves “the line.” I think it strengthens an interior as much as a photograph. For the interiors that I design, it not only creates an effective path on floorplans, but it also helps one to understand the focus in a finished room. I loved reading this post and am going to find “the line” with my camera this weekend when at the farmer’s market. Thanks!

  6. Lydia reply

    Thanks for this post, Katelyn! It’s causing me to rethink my posing and try new things!

  7. Megan reply

    Thanks so much! now I’m starting to see “the line
    everywhere!! :)

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