Photo of the Day

Eye-Catching Portraits and Photos of the Week for May 22 

May 22, 2023

By Hillary Grigonis

Photographers capture a three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional medium — and understanding shape is often key to this transition. Shapes, in photography, can be used to draw the eye, create cohesion, or add a natural frame. This week, we highlight five images that use shape to draw the eye to the subject. Find inspiration in using shapes in both subtle and striking ways with these photographs from Elyssa Kivus, Kristina Mack, Anna Isabella Christensen, Kayla Palmer-Worden, and Shiloh Colleen. 

Elyssa Kivus, Kivus and Camera 

© Kivus and Camera

The leading lines of the hallways draw the eye to the two rectangles of elevator light in this image by Elyssa Kivus of Kivus and Camera. The wedding photographer said she noticed the lines and patterns earlier in the day but didn’t get the opportunity to use that inspiration until the end of the day, when the bride and groom were riding the elevator down after the party. Kivus handed the groom her flash and told him how to hold it in the elevator. As luck would have it, a stranger rode in the other elevator, adding more interest with the contrast between the elevator lit with warm light and the couple lit with cool light. The image was captured with the Sony a7 ii and 16-35mm G Master lens and edited with Two Mann presets from DVLOP. 

“Once they were on their way, I stayed on the high floor and played around with compositions as they made their way down,” Kivus said. ”I had two frames with someone silhouetted in the other elevator, and that was just luck. I wasn’t going to ask the couple to ride the elevator back up and delay their partying, but in hindsight, I wish I’d had us on speakerphone for the single ride so I could give more detailed posing once they were inside. That said, I was still pleased with how it turned out.” 

Kristina Mack, Tiny Posers 

© Tiny Posers

Shape also plays a role in posing portraits. In this photograph by Kristina Mack of Tiny Posers, the shape of the expectant mother’s belly is repeated in the bubble gum. “My client and I wanted to add a fun element to the photoshoot,” Mack said of the image she shot with the Canon R5 and the 24-70mm f2.8 lens. “We both loved the idea that she, just like the bubble gum, is about to pop. A messy bun and casual outfit helped to create playful and relaxed mood.” 

“I often look for repetition and shapes,” Mack said. “I often ask my maternity clients to arch their backs a little to compliment pregnant belly curves.  If not curves and circles, like in this picture, then I often create triangles using arms and/or legs.”  

Anna Isabella Christensen, Anna Isabella Photography 

© Anna Isabella Photography

Repeating shapes can give a photograph a cohesive feel, like with this image by Anna Isabella Christensen of Anna Isabella Photography. In this image, the shape of the glacier perfectly matches the curve of the bride’s ballgown, framing the couple in the icy background. Christensen organized the Iceland shoot, with the help of a glacier guide, and took the shot using a Sony A7 IV with the Zeiss 55mm f1.8. 

“There were a few challenges with this photoshoot,” she said. “We always had to put safety first, so the composition options were limited. It was very cold for the couple to pose, and it was also challenging to bring all the wedding attire to the glacier and change on the ice. However, Stephanie and Kenneth were amazing and still had fun despite these challenges! I’m happy that we all agreed in the end that the photos were definitely worth the effort.” 

Kayla Palmer-Worden, Kayla Renee Photography 

© Kayla Renee Photography

Shapes in photography can come from many sources — including lens flare and even Photoshop overlays. In this image, photographer Kayla Palmer-Worden of Kayla Renee Photography draws the eye towards the couple using the movement of the dress on one side and circular flare on the other. She took the image on a Sony a7R III and an 85mm lens. The lens flare was added using a Photoshop overlay. 

“I was inspired to create some sort of movement in her photos even though her hair was pulled back tight and she did not have a veil,” she said. “A dress toss was the next best thing…The most challenging aspect of this shot was getting a perfect toss of her dress.” 

Shiloh Colleen, Shiloh Colleen Photography 

© Shiloh Colleen Photography

Shapes can also be utilized to frame the subject, as with this image by Shiloh Colleen. Colleen captured the image using a Nikon D850 and 35mm prime lens, using the natural light in the room. The circular mirror works to achieve the photographer’s goal of capturing the mother just as she was, while the mirror adds both shape and an intimate feel. 

“I wanted to capture the mother exactly as she was in that moment,” she said. “She wasn’t posing for me or trying to portray a particular view. She was present and attentive to her baby and that emotion is what prompted this photograph.”