We see photos every day. We actually see too many photos everyday. So why on earth would more photos help you become a better photographer? Here are five ways:
1) It will improve your composition. If you only look at your own pictures, you won’t be exposed to different ways of seeing. While its possible that you will try new things are your own, seeing new compositions and how other photographers approach a subject will help you to get outside of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to copy a style but then put your own spin on it. Besides, that way when you win that Pulitzer you can say, “I am heavily influenced by…” and know what you’re talking about.
2) You’ll learn how to break the rules. There is a thin line between breaking rules and a bad photograph. While most good photos follow the rule of thirds or are well balanced, many images can be more emotionally evocative if those rules are not followed. By looking at how other photographers have broken the rules you will develop some ideas of your own. You will find yourself taking mental photos on those rare occasions when you don’t have your camera with you and wondering how you would take that picture.