Patience and Anticipation While Shooting
This is key. You have to be patient. Patient. And persistent. Patience is what kills, or the lack of patience is what kills potential photos. I say with the job that we do, if we want real honest, good moments, you have to give your subjects time and opportunity to gift you pictures. Right, because we can't control what they're doing. All we can do is be patient and wait. Read their body language. Listen to what they're saying. Anticipate and expect what might happen, right? But at the end, you have to give them time to deliver the photos that you want. You can't rush that, and so, you just have to be patient. You guys remember this from the first class? This idea of squirreling your ideas away. I'm just going to reiterate it again. Squirrels collect lots of nuts, but they don't eat them right away, right? They hoard, like my daughter with everything. She just hoards everything. Squirrels hoard their nuts, and they hide them, and they eat them later. So, we should be doing that with ph...
otos. So, every potential photo that you see, or every photo that you might miss, or every photo that could be but the elements haven't come together yet, instead of giving up on them, you're like a squirrel, and it's your nut. You're going to put that idea away, keep it in your pocket, and then, if you see something that suggests it might manifest, then you make a photo of it. Does that make sense, like, verbalizing this? I'm trying to think of an example. Oh, I have an example. So, I was photographing a family where, do you ever notice this, like, the three-year-olds, two- and three-year-olds sometimes walk on their tippy-toes? Okay, that's something that doesn't happen forever, and that, like, little space in time when they do that is short, but it's really significant in terms of that growth period, right? So, if I see a kid doing that, I really want to make a good photo of it, but I'm not gonna just shoot it to shoot it, right? I'm gonna make a note of it, like a squirrel, and say, "Oh, this kid walks around on his tippy-toes." Right, so, when I see a situation where I think I'm gonna make a great photo with interesting details or important context, then, I'm gonna try and execute that photo later with him on his tippy-toes. I'm not gonna shoot it just for the sake of shooting it, I'm gonna pocket that idea away and wait for the ideal situation when I can make a photo of that, yes? Does that make sense? Okay, you guys remember the Donkey Pull? Okay, so, as much as I'm asking you to be committed to a photo, and we're gonna look at my contact sheet in a minute, and I'm gonna show you what I'm talking about when I commit to an image, if there is nothing else interesting happening, sit with it, wait for it, give it some time for your subjects to gift you the photo. Now, if there happens to be something amazing happening in the other room, that is time where you can let go of the photo that you're making and go make it. The example I gave with the Donkey Pull is I was working with a student in the field. He was photographing these little girls on their farm, or whatever, back and forth on their horse, back and forth on their horse, and he just stayed there photographing the kids back and forth on the horse, and I turn around, and I see a little girl literally fighting with a donkey, like, she's like five, the donkey's, like, probably two, and they are literally pulling back and forth. An amazing visual, I'm like, "There is a "little girl fighting with a donkey over there "pulling a donkey, why aren't you shooting that?" He's like, "Well, you told me I "had to commit to this photo." So, the point was, if there's a Donkey Pull situation, then you evacuate this mission, and then you move on to the next. Does that make sense? 'Cause I get asked that all the time. "How long do you stay with a photo?" Well, I basically stay with a photo until another one presents itself to me. And the last one is Shooting For the Future, and this is something that I am learning to get better and better at and, for me, is the best tool I have in terms of making photos. And so, this is the idea of learning how to predict behavior. I just gave you a bunch of tools in the last segment to help you with that, right? So, if we know that kids repeat their behavior over and over again, right? So, if I know that kids repeat their behavior, I can get my composition ready, and I can get my light ready, and I can wait, because I think that they're going to do it again, and that way, I can make a photo that's deliberate and not something that I'm reacting to. Does that make sense? Again, we're gonna actually talk about all this when we look at my contact sheet.