How to Use “Frame within a frame” In Your Composition

Extend the good vibes with a share!

How do you make your work different than anybody else? It’s what you select to include in your frame, and cut everything else that surrounds it. – Joel Meyerowitz

What you put in the frame determines your photograph! It’s about what you observe, what you see, and what you select from what you see.

There are different compositional techniques to give more emphasis on your selection. One of them is “a frame within a frame”.

Frame within a frame is one of the many composition techniques in photography that helps you add depth, isolate, and draw attention to your subject by selecting a frame in front of it!

Frame within a frame in Brooklyn

Here, as I am walking in the streets of Dumbo in Brooklyn, I saw this lady behind this physical “window”. The red color of her jacket and the yellow flowers behind her, draw my attention.

I used the window and brick wall as the frame in front to capture my main subject. It would be perfect if she was sitting in the middle of the window, but this angle worked for me.

Frame within a frame in California

Here I am in Pacifica, California. I really loved this place and being near the ocean is magical. I loved taking photos of the beach, surfers, the ocean, and other subjects during sunset time!

Every year, I learn something new in photography. Over the past two years, I have understood to observe what surrounds me. Usually, I would select my subject and take a photo.

Now, I notice how I could tell a better story, by stepping back and adding more elements to my shot. Here, I added a natural frame in front of my main subject, the surfer.

Frame within a frame in Berlin

I love taking walks in Spree. When the weather is nice and sunny, you can go for a photo walk and I guarantee you will take amazing shots!

Here, I saw the life tube hanging and used it to frame my subject. After I took the photo, I noticed it said “Berliner” on it. Double the joy! Haha…

Using natural frames to frame your subject

This is an example of using natural elements like tree branches to frame the shot. I am not quite sure if you can consider this as a frame within a frame, but I wanted to add it as an example.

This photo was taken from Long Island City. I used the tree branches as my foreground and put the main subject in the background. Let me know what you think in the comments below.


I announced a spontaneous challenge on Instagram last Thursday for those who wanted to try this technique and I would share their photos on this issue.

Some run into their archive and found some – while others really got out and took photos using the “frame within a frame” technique.

Here are the results! How did you do? Comment which one you like below πŸ™‚

I will include each photographer’s link on each image so you can follow them on Instagram!

Image copyright – Clara K – @pommepommenyc

I loved how Clara used the technique here! I love also the movement of the subject and the depth of the whole image!

Image copyright – Tonje Sivertsen

Tonje used the water from the fountain as a natural frame in front of her subject. I really love this photo! What do you think?

Image copyright – Erin Donahue

Perfection – Erin used the technique by adding the swing as her frame before framing her subject.

Image copyright – CJ D

CJ used the door as the frame and placed his subject in the middle.

Image copyright – GracieΒ 

Gracie, thanks for sending me this photo! Lovely frame within a frame! I knew it would be at sunset! LOL – beautifully framed!

Image copyright – Joe Pollarine

Joe used one of the windows as a frame and his subject was the figures from the reflection.

Image copyright – John Mak

And here is mine from the challenge! Haha, I think I nailed it πŸ˜€ πŸ˜› πŸ˜€ πŸ˜› … I think every photo has to be fun, it’s not only about the super cool edit – to me, simplicity speaks more powerfully!

Thank you all for participating in this challenge! Would you like to create another challenge for next week’s issue? This time, you have to go out and do it though! πŸ˜€

Let me know in the comments – thank you so much for reading this issue! I hope you enjoyed it and learned something from it!

Extend the good vibes with a share!

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