As a photographer are you more like a spider or a fly? I know what you’re thinking… “Vincent’s gone off the rails like the crazy train, again!” But think about it for a minute, the spider and the fly have very different ways of getting food. In many ways, they represent two very different approaches to photography. Let’s take a look at both the spider and the fly.
The Spider: The spider is the patient one of the two. The spider finds a place that they deem suitable to spin their web. Then they very carefully spin that web in order to have the best chance of catching a tasty morsel. Then the spider waits patiently for something to come along.
The Fly: The fly is in constant motion or seems to be. The fly is always busy looking for food, here, there, everywhere. Where ever there might be something tasty to eat you will find the fly.
The spider and the fly have two very different approaches to finding food. So how do they relate to photography? There are photographers that are patient and there are photographers who seem to be in constant motion. A photographer that is constantly moving and looking for that tasty morsel of an image represents the fly to me. Grabbing what they can before moving on, many times unnoticed, to the next place. Because they know if they stay in one place too long they might get shooed away or the pickings might be rather slim and they will get bored. A photographer that spends a bit of time planning, choosing just the right vantage point, waiting for all the conditions to be right, for me represents the spider. Patient, looking for just the right image. They take their time and precisely frame the image they want.
Neither approach is bad or better than the other. I have been both a spider and a fly and I am comfortable using both approaches. For me, I prefer to take my time and set things up just right and wait for that image to present itself. I also worry that I’m missing something and I should head off looking for something else.
So, as a photographer are you more like a spider or a fly?