The presence of another photographer forces me to find better position causing me to get a better shot.
Example. I was shooting a banquet reception for the Boys & Girls Club of America. Another photographer positioned himself to the left side of the stage so that he could get shots of the speakers. I could have posted up next him because there was plenty of space but I chose to find another position. I ended up on the far side of the stage. I didn’t realize until half way into the banquet that the celebrity table was right behind me. I was so close that Denzel Washington and Ashanti could have dropped croutons into my mouth. I literally could smell their dinner. (Which smelled really good because I was hungry because I didn’t eat the food. I have always felt self-conscious about doing anything other than work while I am working. A lesson reinforced by the documentary “Bill Cunningham New York” but that’s another post.) The point is I got the shot of the speakers on stage which were pretty straightforward but I also got great intimate shots of the celebrity guests. Shots the other guy didn’t get.
So, when all of the photographers are huddled together trying to get the same shot I move to a different place. The jerk inside of me laughs at those other photographers battling for the same shot. I rather miss the shot while trying to find a different spot than to have the same shot as all the others. Sometimes I can be a little stubborn. Sometimes I just want a little elbow room. And sometimes, when I’m lucky, I get a memorable shot.
“When you see a group of photographers all shooting form the same vantage point, shoot quick and then run the other way and find your own camera position.” – The Passionate Photographer: Ten Steps Toward Becoming Great (Voices That Matter) by Steve Simon