Break the Rules and Allow the Creativity to Flow. 7 Tips.

There are so many RULES!! Do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that. Gah! I say forget it! Well not really. I really do love photography rules and in general I’m a rule follower. But I also like to bend and break photography rules too. I think there’s something very freeing in breaking the rules and in that freedom I believe is where creativity is so often born.

Here are a few photography rule I think are meant to be broken.

1. Compose using the rule of thirds

Composition in photography is an extensive topic but the one rule you often hear as a new photographer is that you should compose your images using the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is a simple technique in which your frame is divided into thirds on the horizontal axis and vertical axis. The rule of thirds states that your subject should be placed along one of these lines and better yet the eye of your subject at one of the intersecting rule of third lines. The theory behind the rule of thirds is that visually this composition is more pleasing and comfortable for an audience.

One of my favourite ways to break this rule is when I choose a centre composition. Centre compositions are perfect for so many reasons. I enjoy using centre compositions in order to enhance symmetry and balance within my frame. Centre compositions can infuse a harmonious and peaceful feeling into an image.

ISO 100, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/800SS

ISO 100, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/800SS

2. Never shoot up the nose

Well why not? This rule definitely must be broken! There are many reasons this rule should be broken but one of my favourite reasons to get below my subject and shoot up is to give a sense of freedom and height.

ISO 1000, 16mm, 4f, 1/1000

ISO 1000, 16mm, 4f, 1/1000

3. Use a fast shutter speed

My friends slowing down your shutter speed is magical in all kinds of ways. Using a slow shutter speed is a beautiful and whimsical way of incorporating movement into your images. In my landscape photography I have an obsession with slow shutter speeds. The movement and dreaminess of slow shutter speeds captivates me every single time.

ISO 100, 32mm, 14f, 97sec

ISO 100, 32mm, 14f, 97sec

4. Make sure your subject is in focus

I’m a stickler for focus when it comes to my own images. Focus is extremely important to me. The sharper the better. However there are times when I think a purposefully out of focus image is both captivating and dynamic.

ISO 100, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1250SS

ISO 100, 105mm, 2.8f, 1/1250SS

5. Make sure your subject is well exposed

I adore moody. Well moody images that is. A well exposed for subject looks out of place in a moody image. Underexposing is an excellent way to incorporate drama and mystery into a capture.

ISO 1600, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/200SS

ISO 1600, 50mm, Freelensed, 1/200SS

6. Keep subject eye line in the frame

I remember receiving a critique early on in my photography journey that made me take significant pause and give thought to for some time. The feedback I received talked about how I should avoid having my subject’s eye line leave the frame. I understand now that this can cause the viewer to plummet out of the frame quickly and not stay within the frame examining the image however I adore the senses of shyness within these types of images.

ISO 200, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/2000SS

ISO 200, 105mm, 3.2f, 1/2000SS

7. Stay away from all dappled light

Again, early on in my photography I was told to stay away from dappled light. These days I embrace it like crazy when it’s available! Dappled light is as beautiful as it is intriguing and I adore the play between the highlights and shadows!

ISO 500, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/250SS

ISO 500, 35mm, 3.2f, 1/250SS

all content and images © Gina Yeo Photography, 2019