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Leading Lines

What Are Leading Lines?

Leading lines can really add a lot of depth and dimension to your images. They can be found on bridges, roadways, architectural structures, and many other objects around us. Lines that lead the viewers’ eye to a particular part of an image gives the photo more interest.

Straight Ahead

These images show leading lines that draw the eye straight ahead. Placing your subject(s) directly along the path of the leading lines is a great way to add space or depth in front of your subject.


Leading lines don’t have to go straight ahead in your images. They can also be found in more curved shapes. Things such as a winding path/trail or curvy road give your photos a sense of there being more to the story than what we see. They can leave your viewer’s curious about what is behind the scenes, which automatically gives them more interest.

Shooting From Above or Below

Often times, you can find leading lines by looking in directions you typically wouldn’t look to as a photographer. We typically try to use things behind our subjects as backgrounds. But you can also find leading lines by looking up or down. Remember that leading lines can be straight, curvy, zig zag shaped, circular, etc. Adding leading lines below or above your subject gives the viewers’ eyes a unique direction to go.

Different Angles

When looking for leading lines to use in your images, try shooting them from different angles. You can get multiple interesting shots using one source of leading lines.

Imagine using a bridge for a session. You could place your subjects dead center of the bridge at the front of your frame, close to camera, and let the leading lines run behind them. You can move them back farther from the camera and let the leading lines lead to them (in front of them). You can take the same subjects and have them stand along the side of the bridge and shoot from an angle.

You can shoot them standing up, from above, or get down on the ground and shoot from below. These are all ways to switch up the direction your eyes view using one source of leading lines. Get creative and have fun with it and you are sure to come up with some interesting shots.

Leading lines can be found everywhere, whether inside or outside. A simple brick wall can make for a great source of leading lines if you shoot from the right angle. The goal is to have your viewers’ eyes travel to a certain point of your image, regardless of the angle you choose.

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