When I was going to school for photojournalism, the importance of constantly having an image-making device prepared to photograph was made very clear. Having a camera always ready means that whenever something happens where you’re at, you’ll be able to document it.
I remember biking to class through all seasons and weather conditions, my camera bag bouncing off my side and adding more weight to my already-heavy backpack. Before long though, the weight became nonexistent and there were many times when I needed my camera.
With camera phones, of course, taking pictures is easier than it’s ever been.
Taking pictures is a personal creative journey and it all depends on what you’d like to do with it or get out of it. That rings true out of many pursuits in life: you’ll only get out of something what you put into it.
If you’re finding yourself stuck in a rut, or are itching for some more creative ideas, try leaving for work a little earlier or making time to photograph after work.
I was driving to work a couple of weeks ago when I noticed, on this day, there was a beautiful International Harvester Travelall parked along the water in Omena, Michigan.
Being late for work, I had to pass on the photographic opportunity and made my way to work. I definitely made a mental note to myself to make sure to leave earlier the next day, though, so that I could have enough time to photograph the timeless scene.
As luck—and a bit of preparation—would have it, the vehicle was situated in the same place again and I was able to have enough time to photograph it. The early-morning light was perfect and the images I ended up with exceeded my expectations.
It sounds simple, and it really is, but we have to tell ourselves: “We have to be the ones to make the time to photograph.”
If you’re searching for a way to reinvigorate your picture-taking, try mixing it up by leaving for, or from, work at a time that will allow you to take pictures. Or, take a different route and see what you might discover.
Photographs are out there, waiting for you. Take them.