Getting Started: Tips for On-the-Go Photography
By jennyonthespot on May 23, 2012
BlogHer Original Post
I'm gonna lay this baby out like a good sermon - 3 points, ya'll! Organization (ish), Preparedness (which is really the first cousin of organization), and Creativity ... all for the purpose of getting us out there and capturing the goodness of summer!
I'm a mom.
Due to above condition, I have more often than not, found myself unorganized and unprepared for awesome photo ops.
So, what is a an unorganized mom who loves to take pictures supposed to do???
Employ a simple, achievable plan to combat said unpreparedness!
My organizational strategy?
1) Two camera batteries for my DSLR. I always have a charged battery on hand, and my charger is always plugged in and ready to receive the powerless battery. This has cured a great deal of "OMG, THE BATTERY IS DEAD" grief.
2) Transfer pictures from camera to computer daily. For me, it's kind of like making one's bed every day. Except I don't make my bed everyday (shhh, don't tell my mom ... ). I like knowing if anything happens with the camera, I am covered. One time something DID happen. User error caused my card to reformat. But because I transfer daily, I only lost one day of pictures. I was still bummed, but it could have been worse.
3) Keep camera gear in one place. Some exceptions apply (see "mom" above). I keep gear in a big drawer in my office ... cords, the manual, and all the bits and pieces. This sounds obvious, but I didn't live that way for a long time. Just give it all a home so when you run out the door for a last-minute afternoon at the park, you will BE THE BOSS.
Now that we are organized ... we are 99% prepared, right?
This is how I stay prepared so I can capture summer fun at ANY moment (except the moments I am called to lick dripping ice cream off a cone or tie a shoe ...)
Speak softly and Carry a big purse. There are some fancy/spendy photo bags (I COVET), but I have not been able to justify the purchase of a legit camera bag-purse ... SO ... I carry big purses. Big camera ... big purse.
2) Be sure your bag has a DESIGNATED camera pocket. Goldfish crumbs in my purse do not bother me unless they make their way into my CAMERA.
By the way, I have found a fabulous red bag goes with eeeeehhhverything.
I do not usually carry all my camera gear ... just the camera and a pretty charged-up battery. That's prepared enough for me.
3) DO NOT underestimate the power of the camera phone! Overall, I prefer my DSL. However, if the Big Kahuna can't make the trip, the camera on most smart phones are TOTALLY LEGIT. Don't get hung-up on what gear you may or may not have. There's a book by Chase Jarvis, the title sums it up perfectly:
The Best Camera is the One That's With You!
If you have your phone with you, THEN YOU ARE PREPARED! I mean look ... I took this one with my phone:
*EXTRA SPECIAL SUMMER TIP FOR BEACH GOERS: Plastic. Baggie. Y'all!!! We frequent a local beach ... Which means SAND ... which means DANGER! In an effort to keep the sand where it belongs (not in my phone) I slip my phone in a plastic baggie to help protect my Precious. SAND IS OUR ENEMY!
See? Ain't no sand gonna take me (or my camera phone) down!
There are a TON of inspirational tips all over the web when it comes to photography. I want to share two of my personal faves.
One shapes my philosophy and approach, the other has given me some fun pictures with unique perspectives.
1) You have to MISS a great shot to GET a great shot. Me Ra Koh (Oh I adore that woman!) said that. Let me tell ya, TRUTH! I am learning photography is not just about how I handle the camera, but how I approach the subject. It's about the joy of capturing the life we are in ... not regretting the great moment I didn't catch on camera.
2) Shoot from the hip. Or on the ground ... or overhead ... or ... Some of my favorite pictures are ones I shoot with my eye NOT anywhere near the viewfinder.
From my hip:
Set on the counter:
Set on the ground:
IT IS SO FUN! Like a really good grab bag from the county fair!
I'll be honest, probably 94.8% of those shots go straight to the trash, but the other 5.2% are just so stinkin' COOL! And one more tip, sometimes I put a finger or two under the lens when I go for the surface-level shot, especially when tall grass in involved.
And sand. Maybe don't set your camera in the sand.