When taking a picture or laying out a page, one of the most important things to keep in mind is balance and symmetry. Balance is one of the principles of visual art – the set of guidelines that are to be considered when assessing the impact of artwork – it is particularly important for photo books, cards, and calendars because it helps create visual harmony and therefore makes photos and layouts more enjoyable to look at.

Creating balance isn’t hard or complicated – simply try to arrange subjects of the photo or elements of the page such that no one part of a work outweighs any other part. To ascertain this sense of balance, try staring at the center of the work and see if your eye gets overly drawn to one area – if it does, try counterbalancing with subject matter or a design element. “Subjects” of a photo can be any number of things, such as a person, tree, shadow, etc.  and “elements” of a page can be anything as well, such as a photo, color, caption, etc.

In the example below, focus on the center of the image and notice how your eyes are equally drawn to the beach, palm trees and text on the left and the images and text on the right.

Balance: Photo Book Page Spread