In an interview on Lumu, Johnny Patience gave an interesting response to the prompt for pearls of wisdom for fellow photographers-to-be. His answer was simple and clear.
Shoot from the heart, not from the hip.
In a way, he answered something I’ve been wrestling with for some time – a kind of question of the ethics of photography and where the line might fall between telling a story and exploiting the subject.
To not shoot from the hip, I must attach a certain reverence to the gift of a picture, for seeing in this way, and for the happenstance that brings the photograph and I together in one place.
Shooting from the heart requires that I experience the moment I press the shutter with gratitude and respect and awe to the little altars everywhere.