It's easy to get overly focused, to get tunnel vision if you will, when on assignment. When time is tight and there is pressure on you to get the images that you need feels overwhelming I'm pretty certain that at some point of stress your creativity shuts down or at least suffers. I try to have as little a feeling of pressure as possible and try to do whatever I can to make the time that I have camera in hand to not get in the way of my inner vision.
To wit the saying : you will find what you are looking for but not what you aren't looking for, certainly applies. Sometimes there are very interesting things going on around us but we miss those moments and visual opportunities because they are not the ones on our shot list. In some cases we really need to find a way to take our blinders off and maybe stand on our heads if that's what it takes to not be so constricted. Many of my favorite images that I've made are out takes, asides, sketches … things that just happened to seem interesting at the time when I was, say waiting for the subject to arrive or my assistant to move that light around.
One of the great things about shooting digitally is that you can easily pull out those out takes from the pile of images that you eventually hand over to the client. In the film days you would have to shoot them on a separate camera or roll of film and process them separately. You didn't want the client looking at all this time you spend crawling around in the grass shooting out of focus flower from worm level with a fisheye when you were supposed to be doing portraits of the singer at her pool. Well the fact is that she took a longer time in hair/makeup than you expected so you got inspired and kept your creative engine running.
So here are a few recent ones that I dig: