For SecondLife (SL) photography, the positioning of the subject can immensely change the way the picture is viewed by the audience. The photographer must keep in mind as to where the first glance will meet and follow through from there. It can be an eye catching color, a unusual shape or something that is not like the rest.
When the audience viewer sees the picture and the eye catcher, the photograph must also directly as to where the eyes go to next. There are many different ways this can be done such as a stream of similar colors from the eye catcher, a slanted shape or pose that directs the eyes down or up the body. If the subject’s eyes can be seen, they too can direct as to where the viewer must look next, whether it be to a logo, item or another subject. The eyes and direction to where the face is facing are the most powerful aspects of a photo, as well as the body pose.
For portraits, the subject is the face and should be emphasized as such. A classic portrait would include everything from the collarbone and up. The chest itself is not needed and can be distracting. Arms and hands can frame the picture but should not be used too much or else the focus is lost.
Below are some examples to show how subject composition is used.
The flow starts from the left from the face and moves to the right toward the knife. This is often used in scenic or story telling images.
The flow starts at the top right and moves toward the bottom left. The blue line in the backdrop also helps illustrate the angle. The subject may be the avatar but it is the logo that is the target.
Although there is a big image gap, the angle of the pose and shift of the eyes compliment the blank area. One could leave it blank or place a logo there. The eye catcher is in the face makeup design while the flow is directed with the elbow and eyes.
The last image is a perfect display of the Rule of Thirds, which is used among photographers in both SL and real life. I would highly suggest reading the wiki article about the rule because it explains it to the point. Not all blank spaces need to be filled because they serve as a ‘breather’ for the eyes to take a rest on. This works very well when the subject is highly decorated and detailed in jewelry, hair, clothing, etc.
Centering an avatar in a photo is not bad either but it is wise to ensure that there is a focus, whether it be part of the outfit such as an accessory or part of the body itself such as the eyes. You can also try to break away from the perfectly squared norm and trim the edges for a rectangular look to guide the design flow even more.
Hope this helps! 🙂