Photography is not just snapping good photos, it’s an art. How does one capture the essence of a subject or scene? Composition is very important as it needs to draw your eye to the focal point of what you are expressing. A photograph is more interesting if the composition causes your eyes to move around the picture in an exploratory way while leading back to or into the focal point. For this reason it’s best not to have the focal point in the dead center (there are exceptions to this rule), but to use the rule of thirds as much as possible.
Sometimes people are afraid to crop in close, but close cropping often allows for better compositions. I see many photographs with a lot of dead space, or distracting space around the subject which leads the eye away from the focal point. In this photo of the boy eating ice cream my focal point is the mouth that is so expressive of desire. It is strategically placed in the side and bottom 1/3 of the photo emphasizing his lean toward the desired object, being emotionally drawn toward it. There were a lot of people in the background so I purposely zoomed in to eliminate as much of the distraction as I could in order to capture his emotion.