In creative work rules are always broken but for 95% of what I do, my goals are to:

Make the subject look better than they do/it does in real life.

Light the subject well.

Unless it’s impossible given constraints at a shoot, only take pictures of people under soft light.

Keep women’s skin looking soft while maintaining the highest level of sharpness for hair, clothes, flowers…etc.

Keep skin tones looking as good or better than they do in real life. To me good skin tones are often but not always warm, and tan.

Make sure the subject is truly the subject, they are focused, there are minimal background distractions and they are framed correctly.

Before delivery, I edit each photo based on it’s histogram to make sure each one will print well; not just look good on the screen.

I like the brightest and darkest parts of the photo to fill the brightest and darkest sections of the histogram respectively.