Reuben the Rabbit shows you how to make your pictures stronger by placing the subject somewhere other than square in the middle of the shot.
I had an especially cruel instructor once — a gearhead and a protégée of Ansel Adams — who nevertheless taught me a excellent principle. She conditioned her students to mock anyone who put the subject of the photo in the photo by shouting “Dead Center!”. I think I had pretty much figured that out for myself before — my rabbit photos were all taken before I took her class.
Now when you are speaking of square format, there’s not much elsewhere to place the subject — but it can be done — but 35mm offers a dramatic tension that most people overlook. You can take in a whole scene and build some interesting bokeh or other interaction with the scenery.
The trouble with the center, as I see it, is that it treats your subject as a bullseye. It rapidly becomes an affectation. All your pictures of people, animals, etc. begin looking pretty much alike. I’ve seen people place people in the middle of Sprocket Rocket and Horizon shots. The composition looks decidedly odd.
There are three solutions:
1.) If you have to put your subject in the middle, fill the frame with it:
2.) Offset your subject slightly from the center:
3.) Best of all, slide your subject over to one side or the other or put it in a corner. First focus on the subject, then move your field of view:
Like all rules, these are made to be broken. But I guarantee that you will see a rise in the dramatic tension that you bring to your pictures if you experiment around them.