I feel most alive capturing candid moments. Good photographers have the advantage when shooting for clients with spontaneous-shooting budgets. Spontaneous-shooting budgets forces photographers to think on the spot when making images. On the upside, the more average photographers shoot, the better they come at making images. For me, shooting street photography / learning how to capture candid moments sharpened my shooting skills. In result, I am capable of making images that help my clients sell their products; thankfully.
Spontaneous photography requires filtering a large number of photographs to find the best moment(s) for editing. A good edit can make a “whatever-photo” look somewhat decent. Years of shooting “whatever-photos” to make rent, and pay a phone bill, made it easier for me to stumble upon a potential classic from a spontaneous.
What if we can go into a photoshoot knowing the image have a better chance at being potential masterpiece? Tyler Shields inspired my new direction / approach for making my images. If you don’t know much about the fine art photographer google him. I explore the web for inspiration and I am happy to have stumbled upon a video interview where he discussed being intentional with shooting. When Tyler showed a photograph that he made with only two snaps inspired me to become more of an intentional shooter. Tyler discussed the pre-production involved to making that process happen. There are a lot of steps to making a master piece with just a snap or two. You must be intentional.
How To Be Intentional With Shooting?
The answer is simple – In pre-production we must see exactly what we want the photograph to be in post-production. Somewhere in the mix of making photographs for bill paying clients, I lost my love for conceptual shooting. It is my fault. They say you get out what you put in. So, as expected, when I am photographing my personal work with a spontaneous / organic approach, I can’t expect anything more when shooting commercial work. Or can I?
No matter if I am doing a TuckerTookThat Portrait Shoot like the images displayed in this post, or if I am hired to make lifestyle campaign photographs for a brand the three stages of production is applied to make our images. The pre-production stage for my operation involves organizing call times, models, wardrobe, and other things needed to make the shoot go smoothly. Spending time sketching the exact photograph in pre-production will make better photographs.
Should I Stop Shooting Spontaneously?
I don’t think that we should stop being spontaneous-shooters. When you work with talent like I do, who sometimes / often are not “real models”, I am a believer in finding those magical candid moments. (You don’t have to be a model to look like one!)
As a photographer with an eye for greatness, I do see where there is mandatory room for being intentional with the images that will be produced.
Here is what I love about the shared photographs.
The photographs shared were made in Colorado earlier this summer. The more I visit Colorado, the more I fall in love with the natural light out there. We planned a TuckerTookThat Portrait session with minimal pre-production. Taking my travel and time to be spent there scouting locations was not an option for me. I knew what I wanted out of the shoot, a shoot like this is when being a spontaneous photographer help.
We were driving by this fence on the way to the shoot, I liked the way the light looked, I placed my Love Is Love hat by Absnce – Customs by Quonito on the top of the model’s head, adjusted the camera settings and photographed. The quality of these images right out of camera as only possible because moments before shooting these images I picked up a few CPL filters from Mike’s Camera Store.
Because the lady in front of the camera is not used to being photographed, I am happy that we took these quick snaps to get her a little comfortable in the front of the lens before we got to our location.
With all being said, I am not here to say stop being spontaneous photographers, I encourage it as much as I am encouraging you (and myself) to be a little more intentional with what we want out of the photographs to start creating masterpieces instead of classics on accident.
More important, keep on shooting, learning, and getting lucky!
TuckerTookThat | Summer 2022.
Photography by Photographer Dwayne Tucker