I often try to photograph in an unobtrusive manner because there is a natural rhythm to people and events to which the shutter release should be timed. Snapping a photo at the wrong moment is like cutting against the grain, singing off key, or attempting to be somebody you’re not… it just doesn’t feel right.
When shots are planned – more likely than not – the smiles will be strained, the postures will be tense, the natural rhythm will be off. This is of course unless you’re dealing with professional models, though even then introducing some spontaneity into the proceedings is a good thing.
Having written all this, I sometimes plan a shot, such as this one:
(please click on the image to view)
↑Leica M9 and Konica Hexanon 60mm @ f/1.2.
I asked C to jump. That’s the planned part. However, the act of jumping creates some fluidity because she’s concentrating on jumping and not posing. Also, creating this image on the street allows for other elements to be introduced into the scene. In this case, the passing couple wonderfully completes the composition – something for which I didn’t plan.
Lucky for me.