Shooting With Purpose

I once read that "In order to be purposeful, the mission for the action must be derived from inner conviction, and the action must benefit others beyond self".  As a photographer, this statement has so much meaning for me.  When shooting weddings I get caught up in the excitement and splendor of everything in front of me, I just start shooting away until I have a shot of EVERYTHING.  One wedding photographer in the industry that I admire greatly gave the advice to shoot everything no matter what because that way you will have a wide variety of shots to choose from.  I somewhat disagree.  In my experience, shooting this way left me with photos that fell flat or didn't have any meaning.  Now, when I shoot, I like to know why I'm shooting a particular scene and what the shot says to me.  This is a five-second dialogue I would have in my head as I lift the camera to my eye.

I tend to take photos of couples from behind especially if they're walking hand in hand.  I do this mostly because I think it shows their bond and/or connection when they are in most cases unaware of the camera or that I'm taking their photo.  Take this one for example.

At that moment, after clicking the shutter I decided to hold the camera to my eye a little longer.  I asked myself "what is the reason for this shot" and "what can I do to make it more interesting".  And I'm glad I did!

Turns out in this case I didn't physically have to do anything to make this a better photo.  I just waited.  I had no idea that Hoyu and Annie were going to spontaneously turn around and wave to the crowd behind them.  I really love the way it turned out!

So I think, in my humble opinion :),  sometimes shooting just to shoot just doesn't cut it.  Think about what you want your photo to portray, wait for the moment to unfold,  aim, then....FIRE!!

Happy Shooting!

See Beauty...