Is there a tradeoff between spontaneity and quality?

For me right now I would have to say the answer is yes. I am not where I want to be on several important skills necessary to execute on both. But this is part of my growth as a photographer and I continue to practice and learn. I have two goals when photographing families for my Photographers For Freedom project:  1) capture the essence of a person that I have just met (most of the time) through my interaction and patient observation. 2) Provide a high quality image that is well composed, exposed, and technically executed, using all the available techniques I am capable of.


One must always strike a balance between these two goals. Is one more important than the other? If I were to prioritize the two, I would say Goal 1 is more important. Given the choice, I would take a special moment captured on a point and shoot rather than an insignificant moment captured in a high end studio. That being said there is no excuse for a poorly executed photograph. We have the equipment and the explanations of techniques are freely (and generously) available on the Internet. It’s all in our hands…we need to practice, practice, practice.