I believe composition is the second most crucial element of photography, light being the obvious first. The composition you choose can make or break the story you're trying to tell with your photograph.
It seems as though there are a million different "rules" when it comes to composition, such as the rule of thirds, the golden ratio, proportions, diagonal this or that. Often, photographers focus on fitting their subject to a particular composition instead of composing their subject to tell a story. This video by photographer Joshua Cripps highlights what you really need to focus on — telling the story and using storytelling to determine the best framing of your shots.
If you've been studying composition for very long at all, "telling a story" is something you're bound to have heard. However, it's easier said than explained. That's where Joshua comes in. He explains storytelling with composition better than almost anyone I have previously seen.
Too often, beginner photographers try to tell their story, but the composition of their photos tell a different story. I believe that if you focus on the story, the type of composition will be much more apparent. If you wish to improve your visual storytelling, you'll be well served by watching this video.