Are You A Maker Or A Doer?

That was the question I was left thinking after taking the Rick Sammon HDR workshop.

Rick asked me that question as he watched me shooting. 

And confession time: Rick pointed out that during the model portion of the workshop I wasn’t setting the model up to look her best. He drew attention to the model’s hands which in one of my shots were really in an odd and distraction placement. It was then we got talking about making or taking photos.

Rick’s a maker. He sets his photos up before shooting and he gets great images even if it means doing the same shot over and over until he gets what he wants. Rick showed us some shots of horses being ridden on the beach with the sunrise in just the right place in the frame. He said it took them a few passes before the camera before the photographers got it right. Rick gets pretty pictures way beyond what I will get trying to do the same.

So I don’t shoot like that. I’m a taker. My background is in photojournalism especially as it applies to street photography. It’s also how I shoot my wedding shots after we get away from the standard family portraits (Smith family on the right. Bhatnagar family on the left.)

But what I am is (speaking from my normal humble self) a very good and very very fast shooter of what’s in front of me. I’ll move around to get the right angle or to crop out some crap in the background (a buddy of mine used to tell new photographers that “there was a garbage pail in every shot.”  If you’re not watching what you’re doing it will be in the frame – guaranteed.) and do what’s necessary to capture the moment as it appears to me.

I’ll move subjects and pose them a little if I have to but I’d much prefer to catch them unawares as I’m shooting.

Either way of shooting doesn’t make for easy photography and great shots but each has it’s advantages.

I don’t much care for setup shots. I like the spontaneity and unpredictability of taking photos.

And BTW what Rick saw me shooting when it came to the model is a shot I’d never show in public. Why? Because I’d have a dozen other frames of her as she moved around on her own in front of the camera.


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