Most of the time, I find myself shooting how things feel, instead of how they actually look. Now, I realize this may not make sense to everyone. But I'll try my best to explain.
I love to express moods and certain feelings through my color work in my post processing. I associate most feelings with colors, as I'm sure many people do. However, many times, I catch myself doing it instinctively. Half way through an edit, I realize what I'm doing without knowing where I was going when I began. A bright and happy flower can turn into melancholy. An old decrepit building can turn into hope. I don't always plan these things out, but I love how my brain just goes with it while I'm deep in my photoshop zone.
Many times, I feel these things while I'm shooting as well...actually, if I'm honest, photography is my therapy and when I feel like I need to let go of things, go through the inner workings of my mind...my camera is my weapon of choice and post processing is what brings it to life. Color is as important to me as exposure. To me, color (or the lack thereof) is what helps bring meaning to my work, just as much as content does. color work is like the soundtrack to a movie. When done correctly, you don't always notice it, but it brings everything together and leads you to where you should be going.
Thats my opinion anyway.