FocalAgent Expert Photographers on: the rules of photography

Whether or not Picasso actually said it, the idea of “learning the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist” is one that rings true with the pioneering panel of FocalAgent Expert Photographers: 

  • Rob Buttle, expert on wedding photography 
  • Neil Isherwood, expert on forensic photography 
  • Laura Laws, expert on portrait photography
  • Hennie Wellman, expert on editorial photography

To them, some rules are just made to be broken and some should always be followed. Read on to find out which; and in the comments, let us know which ones you do – and don’t! – break. 

Laura Laws: expert on portrait photography

LL: I don’t really like to follow ‘rules’ – my photography is a reflection of what I like to do. In portraiture, posing is usually considered important. But for me, the natural moment makes the best photograph. If it’s technically ‘wrong’ composition-wise, I don’t mind – as long as it conveys emotion. 

Rob Buttle, expert on wedding photography

RB: Everyone’s got their own style, so I’d say that our approach isn’t necessarily about ‘rules’. The ones I always use, though, are the rule of thirds and the inclusion of leading lines. When I’m doing a wedding shoot, I place couples in the middle of the frame as I like the central point of focus in an image. 

Neil Isherwood, expert on forensic photography

NI: Some people say it’s cheating to use Photoshop but I don’t think it is at all. I shoot in RAW, so things inevitably need to be corrected – but definitely NO cloning or anything like that. 

Hennie Wellman, expert on editorial photography

HW: Editorial photography often has an element of idealism to it but I don’t like to go down that route. Editorial or not, I want my photography to reflect the world around us, not a sugar coated version. 

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