I always have a bunch of ideas written down for pictures that I want to do, but there are days when I feel like I desperately need to go shoot something and all my ideas either need too much preparation or I’m just not excited about them. I stopped doing spontaneous shoots a long time ago because I like being organized and knowing exactly what I want to do. I also don’t really like failing. So in doing a spontaneous shoot I never know if I’m actually going to get something I like. But I had one of those days a few weeks ago, I just had to go shoot something. So I grabbed my sister and we went to a house that’s under construction and just played around. Was I expecting anything? Not really, I decided I would just have fun with it.
I didn’t have a story in mind for this. This is one of the times where the story came during the post processing. I asked my sister to put on a dress, then I was like “ok can you lean back on that metal thingy and flick your hair?” because I thought it looked cool.
The shoot made me realize a few things:
1. Spontaneous shoots are FUN. It sounds silly, but it’s true! After I got over the whole “but what if this fails?” thing, I was able to just go crazy and have fun with it.
2. Not knowing exactly what you want isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Yes there’s room for failure, but there’s even more room for experimentation. Not knowing what you want means you try out a lot of different things to find something you like. And like everyone says, in every failure there’s a lesson to be learned.
3. You learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t in terms of posing and camera angles. We tried a bunch of different things that just didn’t look right. I tried having her arms behind the metal bar, but from my angle it looked bad. So I kept moving her around until it looked right.
The point is – just go out and experiment. You never know what you could end up with. I’ve seen a lot of people doing challenges where they would pick a prop and go out and shoot something with it the same day. I think that’s an awesome way to keep the creative juices flowing. But I will be honest – I’m still too scared to do that because I feel like if I were to use a prop I need to brainstorm and plan so that the prop doesn’t look like it’s just randomly there, so I experiment with poses instead. I might just challenge myself and do it though, hmm..
Here are some images I did back in 2013 when I was still doing spontaneous shoots. Again, when I did these I didn’t have anything specific in mind but I did end up loving the pictures. And one of them won 2nd place in a photography competition here in the UAE, how crazy is that?!
I’d love to know what you guys think – do you prefer to plan your shoots or do you just go out and shoot without a specific idea in mind? And if you do spontaneous shoots, I’d love to see your images! 🙂