Hip to be Square

As far as social media goes, the square format rules. Sacrificing bits of your photos to make them fit the square can be so painful. Save yourself the stress by learning to take good square photos right off the bat.

photo creds: michael godek

Taking a square photo isn’t hard, especially if you already know a little bit about photo composition. Plus, phones have evolved to have a square preset right in the camera itself. Take advantage of this setting and make sure the grid lines are on as well. Now you’re ready to start snapping!

First, remember the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds applies to square photos as much as any other. However, the benefits of the square format gives you the ability to eliminate excess negative space naturally. The result is a better composition almost by default.  Keep symmetry in mind, too. Make use of the square’s already existing symmetry to take photos that satisfy the OCD in all of us.

photo creds: michael godek

Also, if there is a lot going on in the background of your image, make sure you’re leading the eye to the subject. Lines, whether you planned for them to be there or not, should always guide the eye to the subject. Otherwise, you run the risk of the viewer missing the point of your photo.

Lastly, make use of empty space. As someone with a deep appreciation for minimalism, I can’t stress this tip enough. Skies, landscapes, blank walls, and uninhabited sections of the beach all make great, simple backdrops for photos that allow the subject to speak for itself.

photo creds: @annapowl

As far as cropping your photos goes, you can use these tips while you’re cropping to make sure the composition of the photo is still sound. If all else fails, you can use apps like Squaready to force your images into a square, but you’re left with white lines along the sides and your image has essentially been shrunk. It’s not a perfect solution, but it helps if you are absolutely dead set on not cropping your photo.

Don’t be intimidated by the square format—embrace it! You can even use these tips to take some killer square selfies, if you’re into that (come on, we all do it). Good luck out there, happy snapping!

Photo Credits:
Michael Godek - www.michaelgodek.com
Anna Powell - @annapowl