Despite how much advice anyone may give about how important it is to have a lucid and vivid idea of what it is you wish to photograph on any given outing, there is such a thing as completely over thinking every little detail as far as subject position, the right lighting and probably even the type of things you wish to capture.There is something intensely satisfying about taking a great photo. You rarely know it when you actually take it but for me, it rarely comes when I’m thinking too much about it.
This photograph of a Volkswagen van parked alongside the sidewalk in Jackson Heights had nothing to do with the reason as to why I was in this neighborhood in the first place. My intentions for being here was to continue to work on a small project but somewhere along the way the confidence of interacting with strangers which I presume I tend to have completely went away and the whole thing flopped. Prior to arriving, I had this entire scenario laid out in my head as to who I wanted to photograph, how I wanted to photograph them and even the setting in which I would presumably find them.
I walked away with one portrait and bucket full of disappointments. Thinking back on the street work that I’ve mostly proud of, it’s come into fruition based on the notion that I had no idea what I was going to photograph that day other than to be as perceptive as any photographer could be.
So am I saying that you shouldn’t completely think through every photo shoot or expedition in which you hope to walk away with valuable work? Not entirely because it depends on the situation and the type of work you’re doing but personally it’s worked against me when I try to formulate and plan out everything in my head prior to shooting rather than allowing things to flow naturally and just be prepared enough to frame and shoot when it’s occurring.