A lot of the time, people tend to focus too much their subject that they forget to check the other elements in the frame. Today’s article is about avoiding mergers. A merger occurs usually when something in the background seems to “merge” out of or into your subject.

Take a look at the photo below. Is there anything unusual about it?

Avoiding Mergers

You may have noticed that it seems a plant is growing out of the teddy bear’s head. Take a look through your own photos and see if you can spot any merging objects growing out of your subjects’ heads too. It could be a lamp post, a tree, a sharp line or any number of things that distract the eye from the subject.

Mergers are not only limited to the above examples. For instance, you may have a border merger where a body part or someone’s head is cut off at the edge of your image. There is also something called a near merger, which describes distracting objects that are too close to the subject.

Avoiding mergers is another rule to keep in mind when you are composing your shots. By simply moving your body to the side or another angle, you can easily separate the imposing object and keep the subject clear of any major distractions. This will save you a lot of time during post processing if you’re trying to clone or extract the offending merger out.

Avoiding Mergers

I didn’t move the bear nor did I move the plant. I just shuffled to the right a bit and voila! No more organic teddy bear for baby to play with!

You can always move your subject to another spot with less distractions in the fore and background but for this article, I left it as is to illustrate a quick and easy composition correction by changing your angle.

So, keep an eye out for potential “growths” out of your models’ heads and your model will thank you for it!

Laura is a Vancouver wedding and portrait photographer. Visit laurahana.com.