The following guest post on composition for portrait photography was submitted by Christina Dickson, a portrait photographer and photography instructor from Portland, Oregon. Her work can be seen at: www.christinanicholephotography.com.
1. Fill the frame with your subject
A portrait is about the person, so don’t be afraid to zoom in close! Remember that zooming in does not mean capturing only face shots. You can also capture “tight”, close up shots of your subject sitting on a stool or leaning into a tree.
2. Keep eyes in the upper third
This is the most natural spacing for a portrait. Try not to divert from this rule unless you are deliberately creating tension. Another exception of this rule is when a subject is full-bodied in the bottom third of the frame.
3. Use framing to concentrate all attention on your subject
Rather than eliminate the environment, use it! Doorways, arches, windows, gazebos are all creative solutions that allow for maximum subject focus and heightened visual interest.
(continued via digital Photography School)