I think what you are looking for here is a better label than "simplest" - what this really is Fermat's Principle of least time. Consider a ray of light travelling from A to B - it will go quickest in a straight line, right? That's the shortest path. Consider now a ray going from A to B, but we force it to bounce off a mirror along the way.... what angle of reflection now would give the quickest path from A to B?
- It turns out that the law of reflection (incident angle = the reflected angle) also minimises this time taken.
The photon travelling along this path can indeed also have other photons travelling nearby along other paths, but something slightly different happens - because of the slightly different path lengths, parts of the photons will constructively or destructively interfere with each other on the screen or whatever it is they land on. The end result is, if you see a specularly reflected spot, it is precisely because it came from a path that allowed constructive interference to occur.
Not sure I 100% follow here. How does the incident angle minimizes time? And how can we talk about a photon going from A to B, when B isn’t known to the photon? How could the photon “know” that it wants to go to a certain point in space, does it not just have a direction?