Who do you take photographs for?

I think that photographers can roughly sort their images into two groups, photos for others and photos for themselves. Photos for others includes commissioned work if you are a professional photographer, but also for anyone trying to win a club competition, win a prize, sell their images, impress friends and the general public, get into magazines and so on. For this type of photograph we are strongly influenced by what has gone before. We know what has done well in the past, what has sold well, what the general public seem to like, and, of course, what camera club judges, exhibition selectors, award assessors and magazine editors seem to go for. This leads to what are mistakenly called "rules". What you have to do, or not do, in order to do well. The second sort of photograph is entirely personal. It pays no heed to any "rules". The photographer chooses any subject, any technique, any methodology to produce an image that has a strong emotional link to the author based upon their personality, life experiences and history. It does not matter if the image has no appeal to or comprehension by other people. It could be a photograph of family and friends, or of holidays and anniversaries. It could be abstract, impressionistic, surreal or shocking. Just occasionally however a photograph of this second type resonates with others and succeeds in the first group. That is just a bonus.