Photography is an art. The photographer is an artist. Art or artist cannot be rushed. That’s Rule Number One. But unless those with you are fellow photographers (or at least nature lovers) they do not get it. They show you a place or thing and expect you to start clicking right away and be done with it in a couple of minutes. Nope. It cannot be done. You see, photography (or any art for that matter including writing) is not Maggi Noodles to be done in two minutes flat.
To this I add Rule Number Two. This is mine and I don’t know if it applies to all out there. If it does, give me a shout out. Do NOT ask the photographer to see the pictures clicked, however tempted you are (and however impatient you are to see how good you look), until and unless the photographer is ready to show them to you. One odd picture is fine, not the whole set. NOT done at all. Personally I like to enjoy my photos in absolute solitude and peace before I share, and only those pictures I feel are worth sharing, that too at my own sweet time. Unfortunately, most people think photos are Maggi Noodles and have to be consumed as soon as done.
Don’t suggest what’s a good subject to photograph to a photographer. People do it ALL the time and hence that makes it Rule Number Three. It’s easy to comply if you remind yourself who the photographer is, obviously not you, and also how your tastes might differ. What you consider a ‘great’ shot (or idea) might have the photographer widen eyes in alarm at the sudden appearance of the Grand Canyon between the pair of you. When it comes to Maggi Noodles you can request your friends to try the toppings of your choice, but in photography, the photographer chooses what’s to be clicked and how.
There’s a Rule Number Four too and it is very important. Do NOT disturb the surroundings while out on a shoot outdoors (or even indoors). This is VERY IMPORTANT. I once had a person walk ahead and deliberately shake a plant covered with hundreds of butterflies for no practical reason whatsoever other than to watch them fly off in confusion. The fact that I am not in jail right now speaks volumes of my superhuman efforts at self-control for not bashing up the person right then and there. If you play spray-the-ceiling with your friend’s plate of Maggi noodles, you always can make them another (in case you have noodle packets stocked or go out and beg, borrow or steal one), but the butterflies in most cases are not coming back to roost in the limited time at one’s disposal.
Essentially it all boils down to this: Maggi Noodles and Photography are two entirely different things. Don’t mistake one for the other.
©Shail Mohan 2017