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Are you one of those photographers who finds there’s a million other things that demand your attention and get in the way of pursuing your passion for photography?
You’re not alone. The work/life balance is a delicate dance and it’s easy to get sidetracked by the endless tasks of day to day life, even when things are going well. As a professional photographer you’d expect I spend a great deal of time out there shooting, but the truth is that I don’t get to shoot anywhere near as much as I’d love to.
There are a few things you can do however, that ought to help you scratch that creative itch and satisfy your photographer’s heart.
Sounds like a hassle right? But you don’t need to have it on your person at all times, just leave it in the car and maybe carry a spare battery so that when inspiration strikes you’re not cursing yourself for leaving the camera at home.
I’m guilty of this all the time. While driving, I often see lots of cool and interesting scenes along the road. I sometimes tell myself ”Oh, I’ll shoot it tomorrow on my way back”, but often you’ll find that this might be your only chance. Pull over, take 10 minutes and get that shot, more often than not you’ll be glad you did.
If your spouse is not that into photography, you’ve no doubt had to endure a grumpy ride home after making your beloved wait in the car for an hour while you get caught up in a sunset shoot. Plan ahead and build up some brownie points with the other half so that you can cash in those chips when you need it most. Some preemptive grovelling can go a long way.
If you have a friend that loves photography, it’s much more fun to go out and shoot together or plan short little shooting trips on a semi-regular basis. Join camera clubs or meetups to find like minded souls that share your passion. You’ll feed off each others energy and maybe even have a little healthy competition.
Dedicate a one to two week trip at a tremendously epic location and shoot as much as your family, friends or partner will tolerate. You can even become the official ‘trip photographer’ and if you get some great shots you’re more likley to have the family appreciate your need to do photography. Getting your loved ones ‘on side’ will give you a lot more freedom to dedicate time to your art.
There’s nothing better than slapping a new piece of high end glass on your camera and seeing things with new eyes. If you’ve got an interesting trip planned, it doesn’t cost that much to rent a top notch lens for a weekend or a few days. It’s like getting a new camera that you already know how to use.
I’ll admit that I don’t have the patience or time for going on long hikes to discover new locations. I prefer to put on my running shoes, hit the trails and burn some calories. I can cover lots of ground in a fraction of the time it would take to hike and I’m always finding new beauty spots that I can revisit when the conditions are right. If you run daily you will also discover the best times of day for beautiful light.
I don’t know about you, but nothing motivates me more than seeing the amazing work of my peers and thinking ‘I could have shot that’. The old adage of ‘right place, right time’ is so true in photography, so the more time you spend shooting, the more chances you’ll have at getting some amazing shots that will inspire your peers.
I’m starting to sound like one of those awful life coaches here but seriously, procrastination will only lead to frustration. If you’re a complete beginner, it might take a while before you nail your first unbelievable shot, but when you inevitably do, it might just be the catalyst that kicks your photography into overdrive and once you’ve been bitten by that bug, there’s no turning back. Just don’t let your spouse read this.
What suggestions do you have for getting motivated to do more photography? What motivates you? Share with us some of your tips in the comments below.