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Planner or Reactionary?

ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
28 Jan 2014 11:04PM
Just made those 2 terms up... based on something Nick said about photographers having a strong idea of what they want to achieve before they set off

A "planner", then, is someone who has a clear vision of what they want to achieve and strives (maybe for for months) to achieve it - returning over and over again... that kinda thing.

A "reactionary" has a far looser approach - maybe setting off with the camera in their car boot with no real plan of destination or subject matter. They find things, get inspired and make photos with what presents it self.

Where would you put yourself on a scale - where "planner" was 10 and "reactionary" was 0.

Have you noticed yourself moving in either direction over time?

Be interesting to see how this one pans out Smile

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janeez Plus
9 1.8k 8 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2014 11:41PM
I am a bit of both or rather a lot of both. Weddings make me reactionary but they start off with certain elements planned and progress to reactionary then back to planned!

Time on my hands and purely for pleasure and I become completely planned with a vision of what I want to create and not giving up until I have achieved it.

So on a scale of 1-10

Planner = 5
Reactionary = 8

Mainly because I cannot commit to being one or the other as even in reactionary mode a part of my brain has still planned the outcome.
brian1208 Plus
14 11.3k 12 United Kingdom
29 Jan 2014 7:27AM
Some things I'm a 10, like my bubble photography, others I'm a 2 as when I "take my camera for a walk to see what is around", then I have a vague idea what I'm looking for but am totally reactive to the moment, not knowing what I will see when (or if at all Wink )
JJGEE 13 7.1k 18 England
29 Jan 2014 8:25AM
Generally in terms of your definitions I am probably a 3 to 5

However, at certain times of the year I do look out for specific subjects, like for example, bluebells in May but nothing is planned as such.
g_par 10 18 United Kingdom
29 Jan 2014 8:38AM
I think janeez and brian1208 have a good grasp on this topic. A good photographer is both. If I am on an organised and drected shoot then I am a planner and create the shot my client or I want.

If I'm doing street photography or in a fluid situation then by the nature of the moments that present themselves randomly, then I am reactionary.
JohnParminter 11 1.3k 14 England
29 Jan 2014 8:40AM
Planner 10 - I can't take a photo unless I have a specific purpose for it and that I am almost sure that when I do commit myself to attempting it that it will match my expectations. Consequently, I go on few photo outings (1 or 2 in last year), take few images and keep even fewer.

Quote:A "reactionary" has a far looser approach - maybe setting off with the camera in their car boot with no real plan of destination or subject matter. They find things, get inspired and make photos with what presents it self.
This in my case is taking photos for the sake of photography without an aim or purpose, I can't do this, it's not in my nature to do things for the sake of it. I used to be like this for the first 2 years of my photography and I was crap and so turned into a planner and got better.
However, I will be opportunistic if I am on a photo trip and on location and spot a scenario that inspires me, slightly reactionary in this sense so,

Reactionary 2 - when the occasion arises after I have planned something...

779HOB 6 1.2k United Kingdom
29 Jan 2014 8:45AM
I'd have to be a 5 I think. I plan where I'm going but never sure what I will take until I see what I have to work with. Once on location I then react to what's happening and plan what I would like to get as I go. But, you always know what you want, the winning shot as it were, but you can't manufacture that shot you have to hope the situation arises.
keith selmes 14 7.3k 1 United Kingdom
29 Jan 2014 9:25AM

I often do plan, and return repeatedly.
However, the plan often goes wrong - e.g. the weather is wrong, access is difficult.
But other opportunities occur, partly as an unexpected result of attempting a plan.
I suppose it's planning with flexibility. Trying to stick to a rigid plan would not work well, whilst not planning at all wouldn't work either.
That applies both to outdoor expeditions and to projects around home.
scartlane 7 68 United Kingdom
29 Jan 2014 9:37AM
i guess im a 2 or 3,
i do a bit of research on where im going to see if theres potential to see anything or get any good images and what to head for, but then when i get there i pretty much just wing it
mohikan22 14 2.3k 2 United Kingdom
29 Jan 2014 11:42AM
Same here 2 or 3. If I plan something if generally goes pear shaped!
mark2uk 12 795 8 England
29 Jan 2014 11:52AM
Between 0 & 3 for me.
I quite enjoy just taking the camera out with no real idea of where I am going Smile

My motto is 'just wing it' Smile
JohnParminter 11 1.3k 14 England
29 Jan 2014 12:22PM

Quote:Where would you put yourself on a scale - where "planner" was 10 and "reactionary" was 0.

I've just understood your scale system Ade. Blush

I used to be a 2 or 3 when I first started out but now I am a 9 or 10.
SlowSong Plus
9 7.3k 30 England
29 Jan 2014 12:50PM
0 - I never plan. Sometimes I even change my mind about where I'm heading while I'm out. I don't do projects or competitions and as I do mostly street and candid I don't need any plans.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
29 Jan 2014 1:16PM
I need to be around 7-10ish for workshops - definitely have the kit and location planned, almost have it scripted and mapped to the n'th degree... plus a plan B for rubbish weather if we're off on moorland... which I like to do.

The commercial stuff varies a lot - really depends on the chat we've had and breif. Some have very clear ideas which you shoot to, others just need new shots of themselves. What I've tended to do is - with their permission - get the shots they're after AND then go a bit more mcfadey... that's another invented word in this thread... So it's usually 7-10 on the breifed stuff, probably 3-5 on the profile photos. I like to just choose a location, take 2-3 lights and just chat with them for a couple of hours - moving along, have fun, find out more about them... then you get some really nice shots.

Personal stuff - I'm often a 0 on this... I've sat in the car with the engine running, looking at my AA map pondering where to go, many times. It's not the most effective way of getting award winning photos - but you do discover some real gems most times, places to return to on better days... With landscapes, I'll usually have an end point in mind - for sunset.... nothing worse than mis-timing that... seen a few from the fast lane of the M62 which was gutting.

I sometimes get to the M62 and point the car in direction of the brighter sky... go see what I can find there.

I guess it's down to what makes you tick - what you actually enjoy about photography.

More and more, I love the shoot and making it a fun experience for everyone - be that someone paying me to take photos of them or teach them, or just out with mates messing around.

A lot less about agonising over images in post processing and more about the experience and enjoyment of the shoot for me.

For others, the whole goal may be to get something accepted on 1x... what ever floats yer boat Wink
joolsb 13 27.1k 38 Switzerland
29 Jan 2014 6:04PM
The term 'reactionary' has some negative connotations as in 'being resistant to change' (which, as someone who still enjoys shooting film, I probably am but that's not the point Wink). I prefer the term 'improvisational' in that I go to a location that I hope will offer something good and just wing it from there.

Used to plan a lot but things never seemed to work out the way I hoped so I just don't bother now.

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