Do you want to get some of your best photos? Do you want to tell a story with your photos? Do you want people to wonder why your photos look so good?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, then put your camera down for a few minutes. Yes! Put your camera down. Leave it in the backpack or set it on the ground. Hear me out this really works.
I have listened to podcasts and watched YouTube videos from successful photographers that have a common thread. The common thread is to not take photos right away. There may be times when you will need to take a photo right away, but for the most part, follow this process and you will get better photos - I promise.
As I said in the previous paragraph, it is okay to break the rules. This method is not a rule like the rule of thirds or leading lines or even framing. If you don't follow this, no one will know. But if you are looking to improve your photos then this is for you. Do this!
When you first arrive on the scene leave your camera in the backpack. Actually, take off your backpack and set it on the ground so you can walk around freely. Of course, don't leave your bag unattended where it could be stolen. In those cases, leave the backpack on but don't open it. Keep the camera in the bag.
If you read my tip from earlier this week you have an example of what I am talking about. I didn't plan to leave my camera in my bag - and actually, I didn't. But, I did follow the spirit of the method/rule not to concentrate on that one photo I was after. All too often, I have a photo concept in my mind that I am wanting to capture and it causes me to miss other photos if I don't take my time.
So, far I have talking philosophy. So, let's talk about how to do this in specific situations.
In summary, take in the area before you jump in and taking snapshots because if you just jump in and start clicking your camera's shutter button, you will get just that: snapshots. We all can get those. However, if you take in the scene and give it some time you will walk away with great photos.