Focus attention on your subject. Keep the composition simple. Whereas painting is a positive process of adding things to the frame, photography is a subtractive process, eliminating elements that do not contribute to the overall image.
Move and explore the photo opportunities from different angles & heights. Position the camera to eliminate distractions behind and in front of the subject. But also make sure the subject does not blend into the background and disappear.
To avoid static composition and don’t center the subject unless there is a reason for it. Leave room in frame where the subject is moving or looking. Utilize entire frame, avoiding dead-space.
Consider framing the subject. By partially surrounding it by tree branches, a doorway, or an arch, you can control the viewer’s eye–blocking distractions, filling empty space, and focusing attention on the subject. Lines as created by streams, paths, and railroad tracks can both lead the eye into a frame and establish a sense of depth.