Exercising Your Decision Making Muscle


The decision making muscle is one of the most important things in photography and the business of. Over the years, I’ve learned that making decisions faster in everything, especially in business, can be more efficient and profitable…even if you make the wrong decision. Sometimes making the wrong decision and making a mistake is better than not making a decision at all. At the very least you’ve learned something. Making decisions in business takes you another step further from where you are.

More of what I wanted to parlay this into is the decision making muscle of shooting. This directly correlates with my ABS theory, in that you should always be shooting. The decision making muscle is the muscle that is exercised every time you push that button. This is the element of photography that assisting will never ever teach you – because until you’re looking through that camera deciding wether the light is right, the composition is right, the model is in the right position, the wardrobe is spot on, the hair and make up are perfect, everything is lined up right, and everything else that you have to think about in creating a picture is to your liking, etc. – you’ll never be actually logging those learned pieces of information into your brain. Making decisions of every element in your photograph is like exercising a muscle, and you learn more with every shot you take. That’s why it needs to be exercised, so that each time you shoot you are making better and better images.

Your vision is refined by the decisions you make.

What ingredients to add to a photograph: locations, clothes, models, hair and makeup, lighting, etc. These decisions all add up to create your vision which is portrayed through your portfolio. Learning to make better decisions makes your imagery better, and in the end that’s what sells you.

All these little decisions that you learn along the way get amplified when you’re running a bigger set. When you have a 15-20 person crew to steer, you’re learning how to direct not only your subject, but also your team. You are the leader, and that’s what leaders do.

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