It’s All About Composition

COMPOSITION

I cannot stress the importance of knowing how to compose images for capturing better photos. The way you set up the image will make or break your goal – whether your telling a story, selling a product, or capturing some sort of action. If you’re going to become (or continue) to be a professional photographer, you need to be good (really good) at composition. I’m going to assume you already know about the “rule of thirds” and leaving room around the image for cropping. The following tips should help you get beyond the standard portraits or predictable pictures.

TELL YOUR STORY

A picture is worth a thousand words! Every time you take a picture, are you doing it with a purpose? Does your shot convey what is going on? Who or what is it mainly about? Does it show all the details needed to communicate location or mood? What story are you trying to make people see and feel when they see your image? Every shot you take should tell the viewer something about it.

Think about what is included in the shot. Sometimes, what is NOT included is just as important. Make sure you include elements that help build the story, description, or answer any of the questions above. Anything that does not help describe it should be cropped out. Excluding useless elements tell a better story because the focus stays on what is important. It also keeps a clean, uncluttered picture.

EYES LEFT TO RIGHT

Try putting your subject more to the right side rather than the left. Our eyes are used to reading text left to right, just like you are reading this article, so follow the same idea in your photos. This has nothing to do with the rule of thirds or leading lines; rather, it draws your viewer’s attention in to the photo.

Try this little exercise to see what I mean: find one of your photos that has the focus point on the left and Photoshop it to flip it over. Look at the flopped image and think about what difference it just made. In the photo with the left focus point, you look at the subject and then quit looking. But in the one with the right focus point, your eyes are drawn to scan across the entire photo from left to right. Now you know what I mean?

There is an exception to this. If your subject happens to be looking toward the right, you’ll want to keep that subject on the left so that person is not looking directly at the edge of the picture – this feels like they’re looking at a wall.

MIND YOUR SUBJECT

Keep the focus on the subject by minimizing busy details all over the picture. Too much details or action take the focus away from the story in your photograph and make it difficult for the viewer to realize what you are trying to tell. The distracting fire hydrant or bushes behind the bride does not show off her special day, so don’t put it in the photo unless it is part of the story, has an interesting pattern, or makes a good, clean backdrop.

Another way to bring focus to your subject is with light. The eye is naturally drawn to the brightest spot of a photo or where there is contrast. Light defines everything the eye sees, so use it to define your image and lead the viewer’s eye.

CROP WITH CARE

My motto that I learned from design and illustration classes (I majored in fine arts, with a focus on illustration) is to crop big or don’t crop. If you are going to crop off part of the body, crop hard so that it looks purposeful. But be sure that it is purposeful, which means you are cropping something off to strengthen the overall composition. Cut off either way before or way after any tangents (points that intersect, like the top of someone’s head and the background – do not crop on that border). Also avoid cropping hands, feet, and joints.

For example; if the photo is a full length shot of a man with no feet or just one foot, the man will look odd and the viewer’s eye goes right to the missing feet rather than his eyes.

Basically, think of what a true professional photographer would do when composing an image. Would your clients love it?

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Photographer of the Week in Manila Bulletin’s Picture Perfect Magazine

It was surreal to wake up and see my Facebook page buzzing with activity. I am featured on Manila Bulletin as this Week’s Featured Photographer in their Picture Perfect segment.

Manila Bulletin

Manila Bulletin


Thank you so much to Madeline Arenas, Ronald Jayme, and Carlos de la Pasion for writing up this awesome article. It looked so good I thought “who is this great photographer?” before fully realizing the whole segment was about me and my photo business. It’s all about my wonderful clients who put trust in me to capture the special moments of their wedding day.
Manila Bulletin’s Picture Perfect

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer

Striving to be the best wedding photographer


This is super encouraging to keep striving to be the best wedding photographer I can be.

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Gina and Jay’s Epic Wedding in Los Angeles

Gina and Jay’s special day took place at one of my favorite churches in Downtown Lost Angeles – Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels. Their epic wedding day began at the Omni Hotel in LA followed by the ceremony in the cathedral. Here are just a few favorites:

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles Wedding at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels

Los Angeles wedding venues: Bridal preparations were at the Omni Hotel of Los Angeles, and the ceremony (and reception) location was at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

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Sony and Brian’s Beautiful Indian Wedding

My favorites from Sony and Brian’s Indian Wedding and ceremony at Seacliff Country Club in Orange County. I love all the preparation and details that comes with an Indian wedding, and Sony looked absolutely gorgeous!

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian's Orange County Indian Wedding

Sony & Brian’s Orange County Indian Wedding

Picture locations: Sony’s bridal prep took place at the Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach; Indian ceremony at Seacliff Country Club in Huntington Beach, CA
Contact Greg Bumatay for you Indian Ceremony and wedding in Orange County

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Mel & Jay’s Engagement

Mel & Jay are engaged!  It was all about having fun together with them.  We explored the Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton College, and downtown for their engagement pictures.  Here are just a few of my favorite:

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures

Fullerton Engagement Pictures


Pictures were taken by Orange County wedding photographer Greg Bumatay and the locations for Mel and Jay’s engagement session all took place in the beautiful city of Fullerton CA. We walked around at the Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton College, Fullerton Amtrak Station, and downtown.

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Jenny & Kirk

Just a teaser from Jenny and Kirk’s wedding at the Nixon Library.

Nixon Library Wedding Picture Light Painting

Nixon Library Wedding Picture Light Painting


Picture was taken from Jenny and Kirk’s amazing wedding at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda CA. Wedding pictures taken by Greg Bumatay – I’ll be posting more soon!

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Dez & Eric | Long Beach, CA

Some favorites from Dez and Eric’s beautiful wedding in sunny Southern California!  Their day started with the bridal preps at the Westin in Downtown Long Beach, CA.   The wedding ceremony took place at Holy Family Catholic Church in Artesia, followed by the reception at Westin Long Beach Hotel.

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Long Beach wedding pictures

Location: bridal party, bride and groom pictures were taken just outside the Westin Long Beach Hotel and across the street at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center.  Greg Bumatay is available to shoot weddings throughout Southern California.  Be sure to check the Facebook Page for other updates and more pictures!

You can also view their engagement pictures on the beach (click here)

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