A lot of scary jargon is used in the world of photography and among the most frightful and misunderstood is the word ‘juxtaposition.’  Once you know what it is, you’ll find yourself using it in all sorts of photos and it’s easier than you think.  It is one of the most powerful methods to convey an instant message to your audience.   It can turn your photo into a story!

‘Juxta’ in Latin simply means ‘side by side’.  A photograph with ‘Juxtaposition’ takes two or more elements and either compares the similarities, or contrasts the differences.  Combine a  juxtaposed photograph with other good rules of composition and you’re already miles ahead of the average snap-shooter!

I will start you off with six examples here but the possibilities are endless.  That is one of the things I like best about photography.

Strong vs. Weak:

I had a young family visit my studio a while back to get photos of their baby boy.  I could tell that the baby’s father was really muscular and asked him to help me achieve this shot.  I knew that contrasting his strength with the fragile baby would instantly convey a fantastic message to the viewer.

Color vs. Black & White:

My niece was going to her Prom and we had some fun with the camera before her big night.  By desaturating everything in the photo but her dress, it draws your attention into the photo and holds it there longer than a purely desaturated or full color photo would.

Click on page 2 below for more examples of Juxtaposition!