Photographers are often in search of the perfectly composed, exposed, image as sharp as possible. Some spend hours in post production to get every detail perfect. Certainly these things are important for many images but not necessarily all images. Some images such as above were made by being ready for almost anything. Animals and sometimes people, can surprise you and if you are ready you can capture an image that you (or a client) will value above many other carefully crafted shots that you have taken.
The image above was taken on a foggy overcast day with a bride who enjoyed being around horses. I knew that I would need a relatively fast shutter speed for actions that the horse may make which required a higher ISO (800) than I would have otherwise chosen. In fact, initially I had set the camera to program mode (yes, it can help sometimes!). The bride approached the horse an he greeted her with 'affection'. I shot this image at F5 at 1/250 sec and in reality I had just started walk toward the bride preparing for another shot and the horse surprised us both.
Sometimes it comes down to knowing your camera very well, having a lens that focuses fast, pre-setting some expected exposure settings and being ready. Shooting in manual mode 'may' not have worked here due to changing lighting conditions within the overall scene. The fog provided just enough balance to the distant trees yet not distracted from the main subject.
For those finding themselves as a client or subject for a photographer, don't be afraid to offer suggestions or variations to what the photographer has planned for you. Sometimes a spontaneous shot can bring a whole new life to a photoshoot and take you both in an exciting direction.
So, for photographers even on the most important jobs (or even for pleasure), be ready for the unexpected as they may be some of your most popular images!