At the end of last year I read a book about living a simpler life. One of the main things they talked about was living “intentionally”. I realized I should use this idea when it comes to my photography as well. I have read many articles talking about not being a “lucky” photographer who just happened to get a good shot, but to be a good photographer who knows what you are doing to get the good shot. Therefore, I decided to start photographing more intentionally.
What does this mean?
Basically it means, don’t get in front of your subject and take 20 pictures in a row just hoping you get one that turns out. Instead, set yourself up with the composition you want, take a breath, and wait for the right moment to capture your subject. Let me just warn you, I am NOT good at this at all. I tend to be a little shutter happy so I’m also writing this post to remind myself as well. We can help each other.
Why is this a good idea?
- You won’t end up for 200 pictures of the exact same thing. Come on, you know you have done it. I have ALL the time. I used to just shoot and shoot and hope that I get a good one of my girls where they aren’t looking crazy but instead like sweet normal kids. You don’t need 200 pictures of your kid sitting in their Easter dress and having barely any difference in each of the photos.
- Saves you time editing. Who wouldn’t like more time to actually spend with your family away from the computer?? If you shoot with a purpose you won’t take those 200 pictures but instead will maybe take 5 which are much easier to weed through. For example, Friday I had the honor of photographing one of my friends fun family. Before I left, I decided I was going to shoot intentionally and not just click away. The last family I photographed I took around 600 pictures. This time I only took 150. I was so proud of myself I called Ian on the way home to tell him! What’s funny is, going through the pictures took no time to pick my favorites. Also, I still ended up with the same amount of good ones as I did when I took 600 pictures. I had more variety to choose from instead of looking at 15 pictures of them in the exact same position to pick the best I only had to choose from 3 pictures.
- You need less memory cards. I have to be honest, this was the main reason when I did that shoot that I decided to shoot intentionally. I could only find one memory card. Oops! So I knew I couldn’t mess around and go crazy. I knew the most pictures I could take in RAW on my card were about 375. I was shocked when I was able to capture them in even less!
- It’s what the pros do. I had the honor of observing a professional photographer do a shoot a while ago. She would pose her subject, take a picture or 2, and then repose them. It was an eye opening experience. She took her time, got the shot, and moved on. AMAZING!!!
- You will thank yourself later. I can’t stress enough how much time and headache I saved from having fewer pictures to choose from. Not only was that easier but I realized that maybe I do know what I am doing and don’t need to just click away. I am now a little more confident as a photographer.
- You force yourself to slow down. Since you know you aren’t going to snap away, you can slow down. Relax. Look at everything in your frame. Wait for that wonderful moment, expression, or feel you want to capture. Then, click.
Do you have any advice to add as to why you shoot intentionally?