Love Randomness, Chaos, and Chance in Photography

In Praise of Beautiful Mistakes and Accidents in Photography.

The thought:

Photography is so fun BECAUSE there is so much randomness, chaos, and chance that goes into it!

Just shoot it!

A lot of photos I shoot are random. I walk around and when I see interesting things, scenes, or people, I just shoot it. But then afterwards, I discover that I really love the photo! I then analyze the photo and composition, then figure out after-the-fact why I like it so much:

  • Mexico City

How important is intentionality?

This is an important point to me, because we are generally taught in photography and life:

If you succeed on accident or by chance, your success is not legitimate.

For example in the context of photography, you are taught:

If you make a “lucky shot”, your photograph isn’t legitimate.

According to who? I say:

All photos are equally legitimate. What only matters is whether you like your photos or not, and whether you care for your photos enough to curate them into your portfolio.

You cannot predict with 100% accuracy what your photos will look like.

For example my DARK SKIES OVER TOKYO portfolio — I could not predict with 100% accuracy what the flash would do, how the expressions of the subjects would look, how my subjects would react, and so forth. But I took the risk and chance of shooting it, then later selecting the photos to be kept. This is what photography is all about:

  1. Taking risks when out shooting
  2. Selecting photos you care for
  3. Post-process your photos according to your artistic vision
  4. Publish and share your photos with others.

Conclusion: Randomness, chaos, and chance are GOOD for us photographers!

Photography is fun because it is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get!


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