Whether you are a professional photographer, a serious amateur photographer, or just like taking photos of the family, sometimes we can get stuck in a rut and lose the thrill of being behind the camera. What we’re saying is, enjoy yourself and enjoy photography!
Searching for that perfect scene, portrait or shot of your baby can sometimes lead you down a path of frustration as you delete one shot after another, thinking it’s just not quite right. We’ve all done this and sometimes in the end we end up with nothing to show for our time.
Photography can become an obsession for some, and for most people this is actually a good thing, driving us on to further expand our capabilities from behind the lens and in post processing the images. However, sometimes an obsessive nature can replace the fun and happy enthusiasm we initially had when we bought our camera. When you are enjoying photography you are more creative and open to new angles and trains of thought. This leads to better pictures, and there is a certain school of thought that the emotions of the photographer can contribute to how good an image is. Are they relaxed, happy or sad?
Standing on a cold, wet mountain hoping for a ray of sunlight is not a great place to be, especially if you are waiting for ages for that one moment of perfection. Or maybe you are struggling to get the lighting right for a shot of your baby in their chair, getting agitated that they won’t stay still! Blurred shots of kids are frustrating and sometimes it’s best just to stop, stand back and leave it for another day when you can start afresh.
So how can we keep our chins up and make sure we still actually enjoy taking photos? It really depends on the type of photography you do. As a parent the best thing you can do is remain calm and relaxed – your children don’t know what you are trying to do, all they see is a big black lens in their face! Try and make them giggle and smile, then raise the camera at the last minute. Do a few test shots to get the right settings first and you should be able to grab some lovely happy images of your kids.
How about landscape photographers out in the wilderness? Take along some food and a warm drink. There’s nothing worse than feeling hungry when you’re stuck up a mountain with an hours hike back down to the car. Maybe bring your iPod to make the waiting game a bit more interesting.
Studio photographers can use music to keep their spirits up too. It’s a bit like listening to music down the gym – the vibes help you work harder and put a smile on your face. If you are photographing models this will keep them happy too, and a happy smile is way better than a forced one.
So bring back that child-like enthusiasm for photography, enjoy it again and you will find your images come out easier and are better shots than ever before.
Jason Wickens wrote this photography guide for Fotoviva Art Prints.