What makes a good composition? My idea:
A non-static (dynamic) composition.
One of the most important principles in photography composition is having contrast (figure to ground) between your subject and the background.
To see whether your contrast is strong, just look at your photos as small thumbnails. There needs to be a clear separation or contrast between the subject and the background, or you won’t be able to tell what is going on.
Definition of contrast
The word contrast comes from Latin: “contra” (against).
So contrast is having a picture with lightness against darkness. White vs black.
So for me, the word contrast means:
Against standing still.
In praise of movement
I think the best photos are the ones that have energy, vigor, movement. I quite like curves and the “arabesque” (squiggly line) composition.
In practical words:
Make more photos with curves or people moving around!
Ask your subjects to move their bodies, hands, or their heads.
Photograph them in motion, with blur.
Photograph hand gestures or dynamic body language.
Moving subjects + flash
Photograph your subjects while they’re moving, and use a flash. This can help freeze them, but still give you a sense of movement in the photo.
Tilt your camera
Tilt your camera to make the compositions more dynamic. Or have your subjects arms into diagonal and triangle forms:
Take lots of photos while dancing with your subjects, and choose the most dynamic one afterwards:
Blur is good.
Or just shoot at a high ISO (1600-3200) and embrace the blur.
If you photograph your subject in reflections, the composition is less static.
Avoid boring compositions
It’s difficult to determine a “good” composition. It’s easier to know what a boring composition is (static compositions are boring).
Thus, one idea to focus on:
Avoid making boring compositions.
You define “boring”. Avoid making boring compositions in your own eyes!