It’s a general rule of thumb in photography — digital photography in particular — that you shouldn’t overexpose your highlights, as it can result in the loss of detail. Like all rules, however, this rule not only can be broken but should be broken in certain situations, argues Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge.

In a five-minute video shared on the SLR Lounge YouTube Channel, Pye explains why you should blow out your highlights in certain situations if it means being able to capture a more powerful image. Specifically, he shows how a ‘perfectly imperfect’ bridal portrait can yield a more natural and authentic feel by overexposing the background in favor of capturing a more technically proper exposure, which Pye explains results in a much more ‘sterile’ feel.

As with all ‘rules’ in photography, very few, if any are hard rules that can’t be broken. But before you start throwing caution to the wind, it helps to know why the rules should be tossed to the side every once in a while on the account of artistic interpretation.

In addition to the video, Pye also shared a detailed breakdown of his thoughts in an article on SLR Lounge. You can find more tutorials from Pye and others on the SLR Lounge YouTube Channel.

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