There are many pieces of advice out there on how to photograph wildlife, or just photograph in general.
There are the key fundamentals, the technical elements critical for understanding the gear and its application. It makes things much easier when you have a firm grasp of these, your process will be fluid, and you’ll be confident in knowing what to do. But these are just tips- it doesn't stop there. The substance comes from you.
What you end up producing, ultimately, is art. It's up to you to create what you want. Are we picture-makers or storytellers? In my eyes, we're all the latter. Each of us lends a different perspective and interpretation of the world, and our diversity enables us to create uniqueness. So why not share it?
In the National Geographic Image Collection book, we see blurred images, maybe some camera-shake, fuzzy lighting, those captured in old school noise and grain, blown-out highlights everywhere, black and shadows in ‘unfavourable’ places. Granted that some of these photos were taken due to the older technology available back then, 35mm perhaps, or just older digital technology. However, some are very new photographs also. Do they still make for awesome images? You bet they do. They invite the viewer to go beyond the image, to seek to understand more, to delve more. They tell a story, they speak. It has depth.
There is no perfect picture. We can chase perfection in what we do, perhaps that is part of being human- but there is something inherently valuable about purely enjoying the process, being present, being slightly obsessed with the journey, seeing glimmers of inspiration, and creating.
So go break the rules. Be unique. Draw inspiration. Do your thing. There is no right or wrong. Just go out there and do it. The most important thing is that you are inspired, and see an unreasonable amount of beauty in what you capture. Photography is art.