7 Fun Ways To Use Repetition In Photography


Repetition is one of the most important concepts used in every visual art. When you repeat a certain size, shape or color you add strength and additional meaning to the overall image.

Also, if you repeat a certain element many times it becomes more puzzling. Because of this, patterns in photography can take on a life of their own and become much more than just a background element.

The following 7 ways to use repetition to add more depth and meaning to your photographs:

Repetition And Shapes

There are many ways to use shapes in order to convey the idea of repetition. For instance, you can repeat same or similar shapes or you can use contrasting shapes to create a more dynamic sense of rhythm. You can choose to fill the frame with various shapes or leave a lot of negative space around the shapes – it is totally up to you.

In order to create something visually appealing, try using shapes that aren’t too common. Rather than simple circles or squares, you can concentrate on various odd shapes you can find in either nature or man-made products.

Photo by Jassim Vailoces on Unsplash

Repetition And Colors

Just like shapes, colors are one of the most basic elements of design. They can convey different moods and they can create a very strong visual appeal if you know how to use them correctly.

When it comes to the repetition of colors in photography, there are endless possibilities! The simplest way would be to repeat the same color within the given frame, but you can also align different colors in interesting ways and create a playful sense of rhythm.

In order to align colors properly, it’s good to know the color wheel and some basic color theory.

Photo by Ben Elwood on Unsplash

Opposite Patterns

You don’t have to stick to using just one pattern – instead, you can use two or more patterns in order to express unity or clash between certain elements.

You can create these opposite patterns either on purpose by combining certain colors and shapes or find them in nature since they aren’t so rare – just think about oceans and their coastlines or human-made structures versus forests or meadows.

Photo by Edgar Chaparro on Unsplash

Organic Patterns

Nature is the ultimate mastermind when it comes to applying patterns and fractals. In case you’re not so fond of patterns you can create on your own, you can easily find many sources of inspiration if you just take a walk and carefully look around yourself.

Branches of trees, certain vegetables, and fruits, flowers, stones – all of them can be excellent examples of various organic patterns!

Photo by Matthew Kalapuch on Unsplash

Abstract Patterns

If you feel really creative and you want to make some unusual patterns on your own, going abstract might be a great idea. In this case, macro photography can be really useful because it allows you to find patterns that aren’t so obvious to the naked eye.

If you take a closer look at various organic or inorganic subjects, chances are you’ll discover some rather puzzling abstract patterns.

Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

Rhythm In Portraits

Even though portraiture is not the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about repetition, you should consider using some patterns when you shoot people. This means that you should keep patterns and rhythm in mind when posing a number of people for a group portrait.

You can try to line up people so that they form a certain pattern such as a triangle, circle or rectangle. Even a regular family portrait will look much more enticing if you use the concept of repetition.

Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

Breaking Repetition

Finally, in order to spice up or break the concept of repetition, you can introduce some surprising element that doesn’t belong to a certain pattern. This element can be of different size, shape, color or texture compared with its surroundings.

This ’’black sheep’’ effect is often used in commercial photography such as product photo shoots, but you can certainly find more innovative ways to use this concept and make it look surprising to the viewer.

Photo by Martin Reisch on Unsplash


No matter what is your preferred genre of photography, you should try using repetition in your images and see in what ways it can strengthen your creativity.

Paying special attention to size, color, and shape of certain elements in your photographs can make you think like a graphic designer and start creating images with an extremely strong visual appeal.

About Author

Jasenka is a photographer with a background in web design. You can find out more about her on her website, see some of her newest images at 500px or get to know her better here.

the second to last picture of the person on the waterfall really shows repetition and it helps me to understand the concept.

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