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Start documenting daily life as inspiration

I know many photographers (pros and amateurs alike) who need a special occasion like a vacation, a wedding or a sports event to take their camera out in their free time. When I ask them “why only for big occasions?”, I often get the reply that every day life is not interesting enough…

This is where photography meets psychology. It is in our nature to not be aware of our daily routine as it appears that it’ll always be there and that it is not important enough for us. The funny thing is that i.e. in 10 or 20 years time those few ordinary every day pictures that one did take become our treasure to remind us of a time that is long gone and won’t come back. We get older, cities, houses, cars etc. change – people pass away…

Think about all the photos that you would have wanted to capture of a certain time, person, event or place but that you won’t be able to take any more because they are gone.

In our April 14th Photofocus Inspiration podcast episode we talked about the desire to improve ones vision and finding some motivation to go out and make good photos. Do listen to that episode if you have not listened to it yet and also go back and listen to our previous inspiration podcast episodes to be reminded of their essence and what really matters in photography.

With our small yet extremely powerful cameras we are lucky today that we can always take a camera with us where ever we go. Don’t take this for granted and make the point to always take a camera with you – and use it!

Here is a little example of how I motivate myself to come home with a few images even when I don’t see anything spectacularly interesting (as of today) that would not be worth capturing for many. I force myself to make a short documentary of 5 images to describe a certain scene or event. This short documentary should be a visual story that can live without words or further explanations. It can be a story of a whole day or only a 5-minute event.

This is one very basic example of what I took home from a recent stroll with my small mirrorless camera and a 24mm equivalent FOV lens:

 

Documenting-ML-1

 

Documenting-ML-2

 

Documenting-ML-3

 

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Documenting-ML-5

 

Start to think of these kind of little documentaries in your every day life. You will see that your vision for stories will improve and that there are plenty of things to capture that may become meaningful in the future. And remember to add enough info into your documentary photos that even an outsider will gather enough information to understand the story (even without words). Process these documentaries right away at the end of the day to your 5 images.

And once you get into the habit to regularly do these short documentaries, you will have enough edited material for a photo book at the end of each year without the headache of having to go back through thousands of unedited images.

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