Learn to Be Lucky: On the Merits of Instinct and Serendipity in Photography

The video above, featuring renowned Dancers Among Us photographer Jordan Matter, is only a minute and a half long, but he shares a very interesting perspective in it. Many photographers are all about planning every shot, and to be sure, this approach can yield spectacular results. As they say, luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation.

But Matter seems to take a different approach. He prefers to “make his own luck,” ala Titanic antagonist Cal Hockley… minus the big diamond and evil tendencies.

Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 12.53.41 PM

As he explains in the video’s description:

I expect serendipity to guide my creative process. No matter how high the stakes, I rarely plan out or storyboard my shoots. Instead, I rely on my instincts to see the spontaneous opportunities around me.

Check out the short video, which was shot by Sandy Chase of fluid film, to hear Matter explain his point of view and show you how the photograph above is a direct result of this approach to photography.

(via ISO 1200)

  • Richard Lurie

    Matter. Not Mater.

  • DLCade

    Thank you for pointing that out! It’s been fixed : )

  • Tim Durkan

    great words of advice – thanks for the share

  • Joe Schmitt

    I just KNEW that was a lifeguard tower from Siesta Key! I’ve photographed that tower as well (I’m from Erie, PA). Cool!

  • Lufkin

    Love his enthusiam. that’s what it’s all about

  • amiright

    No, it’s Mater. Like tuh-Mater, but without the tuh.

  • powellt

    what Roy explained
    I am taken by surprise that anyone able to get paid $5588 in one month on the
    computer . you could try this out works77.ℂℴm

  • Woody ONeal


  • Woody ONeal