Photography rules and find balance to discover your own style

By Lori Peterson

Digital photography has the camera in the hands of the more than ever before and everyone seems to want to follow the standard mold of photography, or they want to completely break away from it.

For example, Ian Ruhter took a van delivery and changed it to a giant wet plate camera. There are so many photographers out there who want to copying someone else’s style rather than finding their own. Learn the rules and use them or turn them if you have to do to make your own art and to tell your story. A part of your image can follow the standard photography rules and another part will be completely out of the norm. Not everyone sees the picture or the story the same and that’s fine. Not so caught up in trying to get everything absolutely perfect that you lose the shot.

One of the rules you lot hear is to simplify your image. Sometimes, especially in street photography, can’t you simplify the scene. Sometimes the scene speak for itself. Whether it’s chaos or mess, sometimes you just go with what you have and work on it. There are stories that can be told just by the silent observer and inclusion of the image at that place and time.

Photography Rules and Finding Balance

Some photographers will with your endless talk about the rule of thirds and not to Center your subject. Composition of the picture is really subjective, but people get too comfortable just the center image and when they begin to think outside that box they start to see everything in a new way. Move your subject slightly off to the side can actually focus on them. Just make sure that no matter where your subject in the picture is that they are the focus.

Photography Rules and Finding Balance

Using patterns and lines can your viewer in more signs. It helps for them to the image of the scene and even put themselves in that time. S-curves work really well if you want your eyes on a certain place in drawing an image. You could also try a new perspective and get down really low to the ground and use what are the rules to your advantage. Experiment with your shooting techniques help you learn what works for your style and what not.

Photography Rules and Finding Balance

Use of color and tone adjustments in an image can set the scene for the Viewer. Colors can bring a harmony and unity to an image or it can be used to emphasize a certain part of the image. Color contrast can add, mix in the parts of the image can help or it can really be a bold statement. Using color in your image can convey emotion and without a written word can tell you what time of day it is, such as the sunrise or sunset.

Photography Rules and Finding Balance

You could do a Google search on photography rules and it would make your head spin by trying to follow them all, but the important thing about photography is know when to break rules to follow when they, and when they range from just enough to adjust your image. Learn to find that balance takes time and practice. Sometimes you just have to learn from the mistakes you are making and take those lessons with you to your next shoot. Please bear in mind that art is very subjective and what works for one may not work for another image. Experiment with techniques and composition helps you to learn about photography and find your own creative balance.

Lori Peterson is an award winning photographer based on the St. Louis Metro Area. Its dynamic creative works range from portraits to very unique art photography. Lori’s work can be seen on and also on her blog at You can follow her on Facebook at

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