I feel that mindset is the most important thing for photography.
For me, when it comes to shooting street photography, I try to get into a state of ‘zen.’ I try to empty my mind of distractions, thoughts, and ideas. I don’t listen to music, I don’t do anything else— but walk, observe, and shoot.
When you’re shooting a commercial or fashion shoot, you want to think about your client and your subject. You don’t want to be distracted by anything else. You want to make eye contact with your subject, to communicate with them, and not always look at your LCD screen.
For me, to achieve the right state of mind of photography, I try to slow down. To start off the day not checking email, websites, blogs, the news, or any source of media. To start off the day with an empty slate.
The more you empty your mind, the more space you will have in your mind to open yourself up to the rest of the world. The more you empty your mind, the more space you will have to be creative with your photography. The more pre-conceived notions of how a photography shoot will go, the more you are open to spontaneity and serendipity.
For example, when I’m out shooting street photography, I don’t try to predict what I will find. I try to have an open-mind. I simply react to what I see, and photograph based on what my gut tells me. I listen to my brain later, when I’m sitting on my computer, and choosing my best images.
Also, I like to walk with friends, and chat while taking photos. Sometimes I find the social connection more important than photographing.
But if you really want to get ‘in the zone’ with your photography; you need to fly solo. This way, you will have complete freedom of your mind, and less chatter to distract you.
Make it a daily practice to empty your mind of distractions, negative thoughts, and pre-conceived notions. Then the more creative you will be with your photography.