Try to Engage Emotionally with Your Subject or Subject Matter
If you are shooting people and simply take snaps of them representing nothing in particular all you are doing is creating a document. You might as well just write a note to yourself that “George was in the living room.”
Take a moment to identify your feelings towards the subject or observe the subject’s feelings towards themselves, their environment or others around them.
In other words look at what you are seeing and “see” something, something worth communicating through the final image.
The Rules of Composition Are Both Fixed, Fluid and Subject to Context
Yes the endless discussion on image composition.
There are rules that can be followed regarding photo composition that you can strictly follow to achieve a great result.
There are rules of composition that you can gleefully break and achieve a great result.
A key factor in composition aside from rule following or rule breaking is the context of the shot itself.
Ask yourself, or better yet try for yourself, following and breaking the rules in a particular context and see for yourself what works and what doesn’t.
Always be Scanning the Background of Your Shots
Apart from the obvious problem of clowns photo bombing you it is easy to get your attention stuck on the actual target of your shot.
Often in an effort to really get that right we forget to check what’s around the subject in the frame.
In other words, what is in the background. There is nothing worse than capturing that perfect moment only to realize later that no matter what you do in Photoshop you just can’t get that dog taking a crap out of the frame!