How To Prevent Rejection (II): Composition

By Freepik 1 year ago

If you are a Freepik‘s contributor and work with photos, you may be familiar with the reason for rejection “composition”. Many contributors have faced composition issues, so don’t worry. (Even professionals make mistakes!).

That’s why we want to help you improve your photos, so they meet with Freepik’s standards. As you know, quality is a must to us, and we take rejections seriously.

How can you, as a contributor, avoid your content from being rejected for composition? Firstly, by understanding what composition is and what we expect from you.

In this post, we’ll be giving you some insight into what composition is, its main rules, and how to avoid common mistakes to prevent your files from being rejected. So, open your eyes to capture in your mind as much information as you can!

What is “Composition”?

If your images are rejected for composition, it means that there are some issues with the distribution or arrangement of elements within the picture. Normally, photos with poor composition present an unbalanced distribution and are distracting. 

Thus, learning to observe is essential to compose an image properly. To get well-composed pictures, the elements must be appropriately arranged, and the distribution must be balanced. We recommend that you think of the main subject of your image and draw attention to it.

Although photography is sometimes about creativity and subjective feelings, there are some rules you must follow to make photos as compelling as possible and to succeed on Freepik. 

In this post, we’ll be talking about the most common composition rules, although there are more. Pay attention to them as they are key to prevent your images from being rejected!

Basic Composition Rules
1. Rule of thirds

Commanding the rule of thirds can help you get more interesting photos. Are you already familiar with it?

Imagine you break down your image into thirds (both vertically and horizontally), so you have 9 parts. According to the rule of thirds, you should position the most important elements in your scene at the points where the lines intersect. It’s a handy technique to arrange images properly and get a balanced result pleasing to the eye. It contributes to creating a visual balance. 

Plus, all cameras offer the possibility of enabling the grid on the screen (which means you can use it!).

Have a look at the following example. The glass intersects in two points with the grids, which makes it more compelling:

rule of thirds

2. Visual weight

It refers to how elements are distributed throughout the photo and how this distribution has an impact on the viewer’s focus of attention. To put it simply, when talking about visual weight, we refer to which part of the image calls the attention, or weights more. 

The visual weight is strictly related to balance. So, to create a balanced composition, elements must be distributed evenly. 

Therefore, when composing your photos, make sure that no part of the image weights too much compared to the rest.  

Let’s have a look at the following examples to understand it better:

visual weight


In the previous images, the main subject has been distributed differently. When elements are placed on the right or at the bottom, they tend to look heavier than when placed on the left or at the top. That’s why the first and the third photo look heavier than the rest. Therefore, you must take this into account and look for balance in your photos. 

Obviously, the size is also an important element, as bigger objects weight more than small ones. 

Common Composition Mistakes

And how to solve them. Below we’ve listed some of the most common mistakes among contributors related to the composition. 

Framing issues

Many rejections due to composition are related to the framing. Sometimes, our review team rejects your photos because of the amount of space you leave around the main subject.

Little space

When you leave little space around the subject, it looks like it cannot “breath”. The result is, thus, unbalanced and not appealing. Have a look at the following example:

framing composition


→ Excessive space

On other occasions, it’s just a matter of excessive space around the main subject, so it loses interest. It can be seen below:

framing composition

As you can appreciate, the second image has been cropped in a little bit tighter so the main subject can be appreciated clearly. The model is now the main element, and we’ve left out unwanted space. 

Tip: In those cases where there is too much space, it’s sometimes possible to use editing software to crop the image and omit unnecessary space. 

→ Copy space

Sometimes, leaving space within a photo (generally on the right or left) may be of interest to the user, especially when it comes to microstock photography. This space is called copy space, and it’s generally intended for adding text. 

Important: if you decide to leave copy space, make sure you don’t leave too much empty area. 

copy space composition

Distribution issues

Distribution is essential to get a well-composed photo, and it’s the reason why your content is rejected in many cases. 

→ Wrongly distributed photos

When working with scenes with various elements, first, make sure which one you want to draw the attention to and, then, be sure it’s clearly captured in your picture. Let’s have a look at the following example:

elements composition


As you can see, the person in the front hides the people behind him, making the photo lose information. 

→ Still life photos

How you arrange elements in still life photos is essential. All objects must be placed appropriately and organized so that it looks pleasing to the eye. You can consult a previous post with easy tips on still life photos.

still life composition

Remember to put into practice these tips in order to prevent your files from being rejected. In addition, by improving the composition of your images, you’ll get more compelling photos!

Become a contributor now!

By Freepik



Reply to Khalid


1 year ago


Reply to halasung


1 year ago

I didn't pass the first 20 designs and I had to study again

Reply to kazisayeed


1 year ago

How would that be for vectors? Could you tell us some tips? To understand the standards required by Freepik.

Tanya Muravyeva
Tanya Muravyeva

10 months ago

Hello! We have a post with some tips specifically for vectors: please let us know what other tips you'd like to see :)

Reply to sidou1800


5 months ago