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Sure. That old every-page-must-have-a-dominant-photo rule resulted from years of chaotic pages swimming in smallish photos. Nobody likes messy page designs — especially photographers, who love to see their best photos anchoring big stories. (In fact, too often the downside of letting photographers design pages is that, as the photos get bigger, the story count dwindles, and the pace of the pages slows to a crawl.)
BUT if you’re careful and smart, you can avoid chaos and still design successful pages without big photos. You can group small photos into a central cluster. You can anchor the page with an infographics package like this —
— or you can run big headlines as dominant art (as in the terrific page below. . . and notice, by the way, how small all its images actually are).
Whatever you decide, that basic principle remains: Without something strong and graphically interesting to anchor it, a busy page quickly becomes chaotic.