When you're composing the shot think
- Does the background contain a lot of clutter that can be distracting?
- Does an object in the background intersect with the subject?
- Does the color of the background make the subject stand out or blend in and get lost?
Here's a few examples to illustrate what I'm saying
|Cluttered distracting background|
|Less clutter = better image|
|Cooper with an arrow through his head|
Finally, look for backgrounds where the dominant color is complementary to the dominant color of the subject. This will make the subject stand out in the frame.
|Butterfly blends with the background|
|This butterfly seems to jump right off the screen.|
Next time you're composing a shot take a second and do a background check. You may be able to improve your image.