Tyler’s Tips Episode 9: Where to stand


Welcome to Tyler’s Tips. Today we’re going to be talking about the power of standing in the right place at the right time.

Have you ever had this experience? You’re shooting documentary style, so you’re shooting an event or people doing something, and the cool action comes together, and you take the photo at just the right moment. Everything’s awesome. You nailed it. And then, when you get home, and you’re looking at those photos later, you realize oh, it would have been so much better if I were standing over here.

This happens because our brains are so good at tuning out distractions and focusing on something that we often just don’t realize while we’re watching some cool event unfold in front of us, even if we’re consciously trying to document that with photography. We just don’t notice some things about our composition that aren’t working.

What I try to use as a technique to minimize the impact of this sort of part of our psychology is I try to make myself really pre-visualize. While I’m watching the action, I try to also think, okay, where is that going to go? The action, whatever it is that people are doing. Physically, is it going to change position? Are they going to move, and where do I need to be standing when that decisive moment is going to happen to make sure that I get a composition I’m going to like, that’s going to tell my story, and where the light is going to be good and help tell my story.

And just that little bit of thinking ahead, it helps me stay just separated enough psychologically from the action that I’m able to often make better choices about where to stand. Not always, sadly, but it’s a work in progress.

So next time you’re out shooting, I encourage you to take a second and slow it down, hopefully before the action happens, before that amazing moment happens. Think about where am I standing and is this the right spot? Is this the best place where I can be to get that great composition and that great light that’s really going to take this awesome moment that I’m just about to capture and make it even better?

I hope that was helpful. Thank you for your time and, as always, if you’ve got an idea or something you’d like me to talk about in a future Tyler’s Tips episode, shoot me an email or put a comment in the comments section below and I’ll work it into a future episode. All right, thank you for hanging out. Until next time.