If there is one thing that stands out above all the other stuff I've learned over the last few years, its that creativity is NOT something you are born with, but it is a SKILL.
And skills can be learned!
Unfortunately this is knowledge I've only acquired recently, and like all good things in life, its going to be difficult at first, and take some hard work before it becomes second nature.
So where do we begin.
Thanks to a good friend of mine, Jon Sowers, I have come to know something called a "Shot list".
In simple terms it is a list that you create of all the photographs you want to take before you go out to shoot. Because you have to think about what you want to achieve, you have to start thinking creatively. The added benefit would be the time you save when you are out doing the shoot. (But more on that later)
This example shows my firs try at compiling a shot list, and I know there is a lot of room for improvement.
You can tailor a shot list for your own personal style and preferences, but I believe that there are a few things that you have to include for it to serve its purpose.
Once you select your location for the shoot or only one shot, you can then start to think of all the possible photographs you will be able to take from that location. Again this can be very specific or very broad, depending on your preference.
Its good if you know the place your are going to shoot at, so it is better to do as much research as you can before hand. If you are shooting in a building try and get the basic layout so that you can create a route through the building ensuring you don't have to double back.
Now you list all the shots you can think of to be taken from that location.
Remember not to limit yourself to standing still either. Move around, climb on objects(if that is allowed) or lay down on your belly.
3. What lens are you going to use.
This is where the time savings will come in! When you think of your shot, also think of what lens you are going to require. Group all shots at each location requiring the same lens together. This way you will not need to change lenses too often and therefore reducing the risk of getting dirt in your camera.
When doing events or even wildlife it is much more difficult to plan your photographs in great detail before hand, because the situation is much more dynamic, and not always under your control. It would be good practice to still plan some shots that you want to take, but you have to be aware of the surroundings to see the moment you want to capture before it happens.
Know your subject! Be it animals or people.
Compiling your shot list can be great fun! See the photo in your mind even before you leave home or the office.
Have fun guys!!!