Recently I’ve found myself not shooting as many pictures as I’d like (and yet at the same time shooting more than I have at some other points). So I challenged myself to make up a list of ways I could get shooting more and I thought I’d share them with you to help you shoot more as well (of course, I welcome your suggestions at the end to help me shoot even more.)
1. Always have a camera
This is one of the most widely known and longest held tips for taking more photos is to always have a camera with you. While that could be a smartphone (and is certainly one of the biggest arguments for Mobile phone street photography) it could also be a standalone camera. Recently, I’ve been taking my camera with my less as it is now hot enough that I don’t take my coat and can’t put my camera in my pocket (as I do with a coat).
So I’m vowing to take my camera with me all the time again.
2. Prioritize shooting
If something is important, prioritize it. That means choosing to do it above other options. It means making sure you go shooting before you do other things. It also means that when you plan to do some, you plan your shooting first. If you really want to take more photos, you are to prioritize shooting.
3. Plan when you will shoot
Building on from that point, it can help to plan and set aside specific time to go shooting. If you just wait for there to be a free moment, in a busy week you’ll find there are none. So instead, plan specific time on specific days to go shooting and don’t let anything stop you.
4. Publish (and write) fewer blog posts
This is a personal one. Back in February I took a break from blogging about photography so that I could take more photos. I knew I didn’t have much time so I wanted to prioritize my shooting during that month. It really helped and made sure that I took more photos. For you this might not be relevant but there could be some similar things for you, such as not sharing Instagram posts or other social media updates.
5. Take care of your body (in my case knees)
For a while I’ve had bad knees and every now and again I either hobble about all day or in some cases just can’t really walk comfortably. This either makes it harder for me to walk around or just makes me want to stop and rest for the rest of the day. Taking good care of my knees helps to avoid this issue and the same is true of my whole body. If I get ill then I’m going to be out of action for time when I don’t want to be.
6. Collect and seek inspiration
Motivation is closely linked to inspiration. When you see an amazing photo or hear an fellow streettog talk, it gives you a passion for shooting. So making sure that you have inspiration at hand is very useful. Some ways you can find inspiration include
- chatting with other street togs
- looking at great photos (like in MondayMasters)
- checking out photography books
- listening to podcasts
7. Shoot first things
Often I try and get the most important thing done first thing in a day so that I guarantee it will be done. After all, If it is first then I know nothing will squeeze it out of the day if they overrun. Conversely, the last thing in my days plan is the most likely to not happen as many other things could overrun. Going out shooting first thing means nothing can get in the way of shooting.
8. Don’t go to bed till you have one street photo
Likewise, if you make sure you stay up till you’ve taken a photo (or stay out at night) then eventually you’ll get your shooting in for the day. This could be adapted a bit depending on your situation, for example, don’t get the bus home till you take a street photo, or don’t watch TV till you’ll take a photo.
9. Wear waterproof clothes or have an umbrella (especially shoes)
Bad weather can be off putting when you aren’t dressed right. Having shoes which let in water makes you want to get inside, or not taking an umbrella can lead to that nagging fear or ruining your camera through water damage. Wearing waterproof shoes and having the right clothes for wet weather helps a lot. The same can be true of hot weather as well of course, because if it is too hot then you might fancy going inside for some shade or a drink.
10. Go to great places for photos
Although there are photos to be taken in every place, some places are better for photos than others for photos. Places with interesting characters, places which have good light, and places which evoke emotions in everyone around. Make sure you don’t get stuck in cliche places and keep an eye out for great places to take photos to help boost your inspiration, motivation and aid your photos.
11. Keep your batteries charged and your SD cards empty
There have been more times than I care to admit when I realise that my battery is almost out of juice and I either left my other battery in the charger or haven’t charged my other battery recently. I try to make sure that I keep my batteries regularly charges and swap between them regularly as well to avoid this from happening. On a similar note, I try to download images from my SD card regular just to be on the safe side.
12. Edit images when you don’t feel like shooting, not when you are enthusiastic
One trick I’m trying to do more is to wait to edit photos for when I don’t feel like going out shooting. I usually find the editing process makes me want to go out and shoot more, so waiting till I don’t feel like shooting means I’m guaranteed to boost my motivation and want to get out shooting soon.
13. Get an accountability buddy
A great way to make sure you do the work even when you don’t feel like doing it, is to have someone to push you along. Getting an accountability buddy helps you to keep on track with previous mentioned points like sticking to your planned times, or not going to bed till you have taken a photo.
14. Do a street photo challenge
I have mixed feelings about street challenges but they can certainly help give you focus and encourage you to go shooting when you don’t feel like it. If you struggle with the feeling of not knowing what to shoot or not finding anything interesting, then a street photo challenge could be a good aid. Why not take part in one that we set with streetchat ?
15. Be grateful
Gratitude is incredibly powerful. There is growing evidence that not only does it make people happier but it makes people improve and better at what they are grateful for. That means that you are both happy no matter the results (be that good photos or bad photos, or having lots of money or little) and you also are more likely to improve more and get better as you are promoting intrinsic motivation. So I’m going to be more grateful every time I go out shooting and thank God for the opportunity to shoot photos, and the moments that I capture, or see and don’t capture.
What are you ideas?
Have you discovered any tips to help people shoot more photos?