The Rules of Photography

Ever notice how the “rules” of photography get more objective when money is involved?

I’ve been asking myself a lot lately about the most common guidelines given to new photographers in tutorials and classes. Some are based on science: how the eye, the brain and external stimuli work together. Most, however, seem to be based on economics.

I’m taking a tutorial now; the first in a very long time. It seems I haven’t missed much since my last. The same rules apply, just to different equipment. But this time, I’m carefully considering the advice I’m getting. Does it have an origin? A purpose? Would the writer know?

I ask why about the same amount of times a six-year old would and the answer usually comes back:

  • Because that’s what sells
  • Because that’s what the professional do (to sell)
  • Because it’s what’s trending

When commerce is removed from the equation (and the possibility of fleeting “fame”), very few rules seem to hold up.