Recently, like three days ago, I was listening to a podcast and the photographer being interviewed said that he does not plan the shoot ahead of time. He explained that there is no way of knowing what will happen, or what he can expect when he gets there. Thus, he said that he just goes and when he scopes the situation, he knows what setup and gear will work.
I wish I was more like that.
His strategy of ‘the no-plan-plan’ is wonderful. But, it may work better for some types of photography, than others.
I believe that he was referring to his model shoots and fashion shoots, rather than scripted, storyboarded commercial shoots.
With my Still Life and Art Photo setups, I think a lot before I ever pull out the camera. For this shot of my Iris, there were a lot of considerations to ponder.
1) Where? Studio.
2) Sitting? Yes.
3) Will I need help? Yes.
4) How much help? One person – to help me focus using macro equipment.
5) Lighting? Available or Existing? How much and placement.
6) Camera? Composition, placement with relation to lighting placement, Mode (Manual), Aperture (f/14, I think), Shutter Speed (1/50 sec).
7) Post Production? Yes. Curves, Clarify. Crop. Resize for WEB.
And then, there are other considerations: Why? Why take this photograph. What applications would this photograph serve? Medical field. Macro photography example. Practicing my skills with macro photography.
I would have to say that I think a lot before I photograph. Maybe I worry too much about it.
Being able to go into any environment and instantly check the scene and know what to do is a skill, perhaps a skill that works better for some types of photography than others. Nevertheless, a wonderful skill to have.
I would have to say, however, that I usually plan and visualize most aspects of a shoot ahead of time, and this works for me…sometimes!