The Decisive Moment, a split second for capturing the ultimate moment, that spontaneous reaction within you to pull the trigger, whatever you may call it, the bottom line remains the same. That act of consciousness which determines your photograph and more or less this is the right balance between both the hemispheres of your brain because you act logically with a touch of creativity.

In this article, I wanted to analyze some intriguing stuff regarding this shutter moment and some valid/interesting thoughts behind it.

Photos by Prashanth Swaminathan

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Pressing that Shutter

#1 The Wh factor

The first and foremost element for me would be the Wh factor, as I call it. A series of questions have to be asked by your subconscious rather intentionally, such as why would you shoot this frame? What makes it so compelling for you to arrest your camera for the scene? Got a positive answer, then go for it. Art is more about self-realization as they say it, these questions and truthful answers would bend and provoke that artist inside you to carefully press the shutter.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Pressing that Shutter

#2 Repetition and Boredom

Sunset, Sunrise, Dragon Fly, Old Age, Portraits of homeless people, Poverty, and tons and tons of already seen, sensed, grinded pictures. There is a lot of repetition, photographs which we often see, see and keep seeing from almost every photographer who enters the grand arena. What makes this even disappointing is the lack of vision and individuality within every photographer amongst us. Sincerely but more practically ask these questions before you press the shutter.

  • Does this scene create a sense of surprise & great curiosity?
  • Haven’t you seen a similar picture somewhere?
  • Does the surroundings rush your blood flow?
  • If you answered positively, then stay focused and nail that picture.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Pressing that Shutter

#3 Reason and Translation

I am a strong believer in the fact that you are your photographs. Your portfolio is a more or less a mere reflection of your vision and arguably your character too. Finding and faulting for the reason to frame something and pressing the shutter shouldn’t be the case when you opt to create a photograph of art stature. Try to feel poised, silence within and gather some thoughtful translations from your mind to go for the picture. Create a relationship within the scene and the inner you to fill that space and then with all due respect feel positive to press the shutter.

#4 Identity

Style is all about hiding inside that small shell, your comfort zone, with a grand fear about losing and you resisting to crawl out. Identity comes in close proximity with style, a conscious effort to make the photograph chant or cry out your name, will fetch you nothing but blockage. Innovate within, don’t repeat something for the mere sake of awards, recognition, or even likes. Identity is something that we need to erase from our minds and approach every single frame with freshness and passion.

#5 Ethics

And finally, some ethics to tackle our pure lust for great photographs. I call it ethics, not rules since there can’t be any rules to drive the likes of art or even photography. But what becomes mandatory is the application of ethics before you press the shutter, be it the genre of street, travel or wildlife, how far would you go to get that desired shot. Creating a stir, in other words jumping into the lives of others, uninvited is definitely and by all means unethical. Respect your subjects and love them with all heart before and after the shutter press.

Keep shooting!

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Pressing that Shutter

You may be interested in the following related topics: