Should We Plan Our Photography?

I was trying to think of the things we do in life that we invariably plan ahead for. Some obvious things come to mind straight away like holidays, work, what we have for dinner, what route we take when we go out, what clothes we wear according to the weather, buying gifts for birthdays etc. It seems that the list is endless. When we analyse it it seems that virtually everything we do involves planning to a lesser or greater degree. But what about leisure activities, hobbies etc?

I think it’s fair to say that leisure activities and hobbies also involve planning. Even just going for a walk usually involves deciding where we go, how far and dressing appropriately. If we collect things then we don’t collect willy-nilly, we usually collect based on what we want to add to our collection. For example, if I collect Worcester porcelain made between certain dates then I’m not going to go and randomly buy something that falls outside the criteria I’ve set for my collecting. Stamp collectors are the same: collecting thematically in some way or another. They don’t go and buy any and every stamp they see. Right now I’m trying to think of anything that we do without any planning whatsoever. Even if I say I’m going to do something spontaneously then, by definition, I’ve planned to do some thing spontaneously. But maybe I’m pushing the envelope too far. But I’m sure you understand what I mean. This is not a philosophical debate!

So what happens with our photography? I would suggest that for 90% of consumer photographers they just take their camera with them when they’re out… on the off chance they might see something that interests them and take a shot. In some sense it’s random and, you might say, spontaneous and for a lot of folk it’s all they want from their photography. Nowt wrong with that. I’ve seen lots of photographers visit wildlife hides with the mind-set that they might see something interesting and photograph it. All this is about creating memories and recording what we’ve seen and also where we’ve been. Nowt wrong with that either. But I find it rather strange when some photographers see the images created by others and then say something along the lines of, ‘Oh! I wish I could take pictures like that’.

I would suggest that most of the great images we see that give us that sort of feeling (‘Oh! I wish I could take pictures like that’) are not created randomly and are not spontaneous. Rather they are the result of time, experience, hard graft and planning. Obviously there are times when, out of nowhere, a 7yr old will catch a record fish and it’s plastered all over the tabloids…but to be honest, that’s a result of sheer luck rather than as a result of planning and experience. Nowt wrong with that.

By now I hope you’re getting the point.

If you want to get the consistent results that you want from your photography then you have to plan for them. And that covers everything from learning ‘how’ to get the best from your camera to being in the right place at the right time. And there’s certainly nowt wrong with that!

Cameras Don’t Take Pictures – YOU DO.

Keep planning ahead my friends.

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