Sometimes the photo you envision is well, just not that good. The key is being able to recognize your original idea isn’t a good one and moving to another approach.
Driving south of Yakima on my way to another assignment I saw someone working alone in vegetable field. I figured there was a nice photo to be had – a solitary figure wearing a broad-brimmed, light-colored straw hat working in a sea of green vegetable plants.
In my mind’s eye it looked to be a nice, creative photo.
Upon introducing myself to the gentleman I immediately realized I wanted a photo from up close, not far away as I had originally envisioned. His face had too much character to lose it in that sea of green. Besides, I wanted to give a face to the person laboring alone in the hot morning sun as traffic raced by on the nearby road. I think it’s important for our readers and viewers to know who’s bringing the food in from the fields.
After making the up-close photos I backed up and shot the photo I envisioned, the one I thought would be good.
Maybe someone else would call it nice in a graphic sort of way. I just call it lifeless. Easy for the reader/viewer to skip over. We don’t learn anything about the worker from this photo. So while it may be graphic there’s just not much information there.
The photo I prefer, the up-close image, is in my opinion more intimate and draws the reader and viewer into the photo rather than allowing them to simply skip past the photo. Also, I like that he’s picking into a bucket that once held tractor hydraulic fluid (farmers are, indeed, a frugal bunch, repurposing many things including a plastic bucket).
So while my initial vision for the photo proved to be very incorrect I was realized the error of my thinking was still able to make a very serviceable photo and meet a very nice, hardworking man.