Something that has been bugging me for a while now, and I finally decided to bring it up, is the old saying to the effect of "What is the story that your photo tells?" or "A photo must tell a story or it's not a good photo", etc.
Basically, I think the thing that is most annoying to me about this is that it is way too general. I feel like a lot of people adhere to this adamantly and fervently, without really considering there may be cases where it doesn't apply. All of this is, of course, my personal opinion. I believe there are many types of photos and situations where it is legitimate to work within the "Tell a story" guideline. But I think there are at least as many cases where it is not necessary.
The type of shots that come to mind which could easily fall outside the realm of the "story rule" would be photographs of wildlife, or some kind of graphically pleasing still life, among other things. Sure, it would be possible in some cases to tell a story about an animal's behavior, or interaction with another animal or environment. Then there are photos that are just "the animal" which can, IMO, be just as good or powerful of an image. Take a close up shot of a bird, with a blurred background. The subject is the bird. No story, just the bird. It might be nice if it were eating a berry, but if it's just sitting on a branch, it's not any less of a shot, I think. And I don't know if "Eating a berry" would really be a story, anyway. Let's say you photograph a fern leaf, close up, almost as a fine art piece perhaps. There really isn't a story, but the photo can be powerful and engaging.
Then again, it just occurred to me that "telling a story" could be highly subjective. Some may take it literally, as in it has to explain exactly what was going on, whereas some may take it more liberally, as in, pretty much any photo tells a story inherently because it is capturing something and the viewer is then seeing it.
I'm curious what your opinions on the matter are.