Find Inspiration Wherever You Are
That little mantra is what keeps me sane. Like so many other photographers out there I am one who does not earn the majority of their income from photography. It's not that I don't dream of it, but rather that my family obligations don't allow it yet. Some day maybe. But for now I have to get by with taking photos wherever I can, and more often than not it means I am shooting in close proximity to my home. That doesn't mean I don't dream of taking off to explore the Rocky Mountains in the fall, or driving through the deserts of the Southwest for epic sunsets, because believe me I do!! Instead I often find myself with a few hours on the weekend to get out and shoot, or maybe an hour or so a few days during the week. So how am I supposed to make it work with such a limited time frame to work in? How can I stay inspired with so little a room to roam? It's easy...... I just open my eyes to EVERYTHING around me. What? Were you expecting some big groundbreaking technique? Some new snake oil to buy into? It really is as simple as slowing down and looking around you. When I make my morning commute to my "day job" I am constantly scanning the countryside as I drive. I pay attention to how different things look at the end of the day when I pass them by again. I notice the changes the seasons bring to the familiar drive, I pay attention to the shadows as they grow across the fields in the winter months, and to where the dew collects the heaviest on damp summer mornings. All these little details are tucked away into a shot list in my head. Some of them get brought to life in my camera, while others must wait for the next day, the next season, and in some cases, the next year. But they exist, and they are everywhere so don't get discouraged when you look at some incredible landscape that you can't go shoot. Instead you need to find your own incredible landscape that is tucked away in your own neighborhood, your own town, or county. They exist, and you along with countless others drive by them every day. But what makes you a photographer is that you notice them, and you appreciate them, and most importantly.....You capture them, you freeze their beauty for the enjoyment they bring people. So tomorrow, or the day after, start filling that mental shot list with all the beautiful places you know are out there.