I had the great honor of studying with Lizette Model. After crit sessions we take her out to a fancy restaurant (where she sent most of the food back) and we'd talk about life, art, and photography. I one time asked her how she would go about teaching composition. She looked at me almost in disgust, and said that it is impossible to teach composition, you can only feel it. She also said she didn't even use the word.

I think she was being extreme, but I got what she meant. Following rules about composition can only inevitably lead to cliches. I teach photography and I do talk about composition. I mention that there are rules, but I never say what they are. "Well balanced" and "well composed" pictures are only one type of picture. Look at Diane Arbus's work, it clumsy and awkward at times, but always arresting. And of course Henri Cartier Bresson's work is graceful and poetic and equally arresting.

I think these are examples of two artists who felt very different things when they photographed. I would also say that Moms aren't always the best critics, but if you feel there may be something that can be done better, let that thought percolate, and see what happens, Do not, however, let it inhibit you. Your work looks very good, and who knows, it might even get better.