How to Compose Symmetrical Images (Without Killing Boredom)

In today’s article you will learn how to compose images with more interesting symmetry. To delve into the Photographic composition and know all the tricks and tips for some of the most impressive photographs, I recommend this mega guide that we have prepared for you.

Symmetrical images are deeply attractive to our gaze, they bring us balance, peace and well-being. But they have a fairly common problem. They can end up being boring, banal and common. That is to say, most of them pass unnoticed in front of our retinas, they seem pretty to us, perhaps well composed, but little else. This is, almost always, because we get carried away by the impression that a certain symmetry causes us and we forget that the images are made up of many other elements that we must help each other to form rich and interesting images. Do you want to see some ideas to photograph symmetry without boring someone to death? 😉

What is symmetry?

Although probably when you hear symmetry, both of us will have the same thought of what it is, the truth is that there are many types of symmetries depending on the field in which we work (mathematics, physics, drawing, geometry, etc.). As far as we are concerned, we could define it in a similar way to the RAE:

Exact correspondence in shape, size and position of the parts of a whole in relation to a center, an axis or a plane.

That is, with respect to an axis or imaginary line, distribute the different elements on both sides of it, and identically.

Find a center of interest

This is THE key point of any photograph. The photographs must always be justified, thought out, they must try to explain something, and this is achieved through what we know as the center of interest, which is nothing more than what we highlight in our image as the protagonist of the story we have chosen. Without a center of interest, the gaze wanders through the image without direction or motive, not knowing where to stop or what it is trying to express. In short, without a center of interest, the image lacks hook and, forgive the redundancy, interest.

Help yourself with lines

Lines in composition are very useful for guide the gaze of the viewer of the image towards that specific point that we determine with the composition. Straight lines in symmetry, depending on your point of view, can create interesting vanishing points (the real or imagined place where the lines meet at infinity) adding vibrancy, strength and interest to the image.

Add movement to the scene

Another way to add interest, strength and vitality to symmetrical images can be through movement, either of what we photograph or of what we can generate ourselves, with techniques such as zooming or panning.

play with geometry

Many times geometric shapes are a motif in themselves and can function as a center of interest on their own, as in the following image, which plays with different shapes such as the circle (the most prominent) or different lines that lead us to the central point of an image as if it were a target.


They are a recurring classic in photography, so it is important to use them with something that somehow “justifies” the image. That is, it is not enough that the image is perfectly symmetrical, probably with that you will only get one of those boring images that you hate so much. The image must be accompanied by something else that enhances the message and makes it interesting. It can be the light, the framing, the subject, the atmosphere or whatever you think is appropriate.

Take time to compose the image

This is a point that is always important, but the more formal the images that we are going to work on, the more important it becomes, if possible. It is always good to remember the most common composition rules and use them if necessary. Here I name some that can be useful to you to compose in symmetry.

  • rule of thirds
  • fill the frame
  • horizon law
  • Dare also with the vertical format

Add a human element

The human (and/or animal) element naturally adds interest to photography, as as living beings, we tend to be drawn to what we unconsciously identify with or empathize with. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a shadow, a foot, or a bag in a corner. Anything that reminds us of the presence of a human being enhances our interest in the image.

tell a story

Do not forget that this is the essence of any photograph and it is very easy to lose sight of it when we look for compositions as formal as the symmetrical ones. Remember that it is not just the form, it is the message; you must transmit something with your image, beyond it being pretty, well composed, correct light, etc.

Look for interesting points of view

In photography, good casual images either do not exist, or are very rare. The more worked an image is, the better results you will have, the more thought out, the more tests and modifications, in general, the better. Especially at the beginning, the more you practice and experiment, the more agility and ability to anticipate scenes you will have. To do this, and to escape the boredom of certain compositions, it is best to experiment with different perspectives, angles and points of view. Remember that the same image with a simple variation of the point of view can drastically change the scene. A low point of view accentuates the leaks of the lines, a high point of view dwarfs the sitter, and so on.


Patterns can give a lot of play in symmetrical photography. You can find them in nature (butterflies, peacock tails, flowers…) or artificially. Patterns can help you add rhythm to images, and make them formally more attractive.

PPP: Think, preview and patience

Beyond technique, knowledge, etc., in photography it is key to think and anticipate the image. Let’s take the previous image as an example. The photographer could simply have taken the image of the pattern generated by the lines on the ground. However, that would have been a somewhat boring image. Instead, he decided to wait for a human element to appear to break that rhythm, that symmetry, which is also in motion and contrasts with the static ground.

How about? I hope you will be encouraged to practice with symmetries, they are very photogenic and can help you a lot in the narration of your photographic stories 🙂 And speaking of helping, if you have found it useful, share it so that someone else can benefit from these tips. Thank you and see you next time! 🙂