In the latest Batman movie, there’s a line by the Joker – “I don’t have a plan – I’m just like a dog that spends all day chasing cars.”
Man this hit me right between the eyes. It describes the difference between how I shot as a rank amateur and how I shoot as a pro. When I first started in photography, I never had a plan. I’d just point my camera at anything I passed by. I lacked focus. I wasted a bunch of time. I’d get lucky once in a while, but if I were really honest, I wouldn’t be able to tell you why some photos worked and some didn’t. I was like a dog who spent his days chasing cars. I wasn’t even sure what I’d do if I caught one.
Now, I don’t chase cars. I resist the urge to point my camera at every pretty thing that moves. Instead, I work exclusively on a project. I work a plan. That’s the difference between clueless Scott who didn’t get it and clued in Scott who does. Now don’t get me wrong – there’s always a place for fun and experimentation – but there’s also a time to get serious.
Go out with your camera and have a plan. Plan to shoot colors, or shapes or patterns. Plan to shoot with only one lens no matter what. Plan to shoot only people named Jim. Have a project and focus your attention solely on that – then you’ll be on the path to “getting it.”