the beautiful thing about rules is they are a wonderful tool to learn with.
rules of thirds, everything razor sharp in focus, focus on the eyes or the tip of the nose
leave about 1/2 your thumb between the top of the subject and the top of the frame &C &C
but at a certain point you need to remove the training wheels and realize that rules are a guideline
and don't need to be followed to the letter.

as someone previously said, everything pretty much has been done before,
don't worry about clichés everything pretty much is a cliché ... just enjoy yourself ..

john