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It does not always mean that there have to be diagonal lines in a frame but the subject itself may be positioned diagonally in the frame instead of positioned and aligned straight. So, the subject and other elements themselves may be placed diagonally or there may be actual lines positioned diagonally.
Your own viewpoint may also create a diagonal. An element photographed from side with a wide angle lens may distort the perspective and form a diagonal in the photograph. Diagonals have more impact compared to straight upfront shots.
Diagonal lines have been used by photographers since ages to lead the eye essentially towards the subject or the main area of interest in the photograph, be it a fashionable photograph of a model or a beautiful landscape.
Diagonal lines further add depth to the photograph when created by the choice of viewpoint. It's all about changing the way we look at vertical and horizontal lines. Just the angle at which you view these lines, be it a vertical or a horizontal, will change it into a diagonal. Wide angle lenses make it easy to achieve it when used closer to the elements in the frame.
Most importantly, the lines do not really have to be lines as such but certain areas in the subject which are like lines Like the lines of an arm or a leg of the model or it could even be a simple bend. Photographers can also achieve a diagonal by suitably tilting the camera in one direction, which adds to the dynamics of the composition.
When we talk about diagonals, it has to be a diagonal or close to it. A slight change in the verticals or horizontals might look like an error and may appear as if the photographer was not able to balance the frame and it slightly tilted to one side.
As you learn photography in a good photography school or through an online Photography course, it's very important for you to keep some of the important compositional rules and techniques in mind to improve your photography skills.
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