You hear lots of things like the “rule of thirds” relating to photography. While they are not technically “rules,” they are generally-accepted best practices. It’s find to break these “rules” but in my opinion, only if you go through this exercise first. Ask yourself these questions…

What is the rule I’m breaking?
Why do I want to break the rule?
What effect am I trying to achieve?
Is there another way to achieve what I want?
What is the payoff? Does it work?

Unless you can articulate with specificity why you want to do something that breaks the “rules” you should pause and rethink.

Many new photographers don’t actually know the “rules” and break them because they are too lazy to learn. In those cases, they are only fooling themselves. Still others break the “rules” because they think it makes them cool or even more likely “new.”

I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll say it again. Don’t focus on being new – focus on being you.

Breaking the “rules” of photography can make sense, but you should have a reason and know why you want to do so if you’re going to consider yourself a serious photographer.

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