Most of us started out taking photos because we were inspired and just crazy excited to pick up our camera and create images. Create for your clients, create for you and just take photos of everything you see. I actually remember taking photos of old school nintendo games when I first started, no joke. Yet,  often there can be a time in your photography career that lugging your camera around becomes work.  Most of the time it isn’t on purpose. You just get more and more busy and you are booking like mad. You need a break, your body needs a break. Which is all normal and natural. It’s also hard as a photographer to bring your camera to any (family, friend) event and not be “responsible” for producing images. So we put them down and use them only during “work”.

 

I don’t know about you but I miss that time of creating for no reason. To be amazed. To shoot with absolutely no pressure to make anything. No pressure to produce your best of best work. To experiment. To really fall in love with my camera again.

 

In my early days of shooting, I used to do tons of work just for me because I had the time. Now, with my travel and shooting schedule and trying to get 101 things done each day it nearly has disappeared. This “me” work feels frivolous.

 

Yet, I have learned in the last month that this is actually THE KEY. This weekend I brought my camera to the cabin. Swung it around my neck and walked around. No agenda, just to capture what I see. Friends, I am not a great landscape photographer. I would MUCH rather shoot people than an object. Yet these photos make my heart sing. Why? Because I walked around, took my time and just created in my heart. It blew my mind how much just an hour of doing this changed my heart about my camera.

 

I am going to start scheduling dates with my cameras. For no reason at all, at least once a month. I am not going to give myself a time limit, I just have to shoot something that is part of my life. Many of you probably are way ahead of me and doing this regularly, but I would love to support each other and start a little movement of taking the time to reignite the fire and love that camera again. I possibly will start a facebook group to keep accountability if you would like to join in the effort comment below, I would love to have you! Also here are some tips I have learned in trying this effort for myself.

 

TIPS ON FALLING BACK IN LOVE WITH YOUR CAMERA

 

1. Keep it simple and in front of you. I have set up a camera body and a lens just for the sake of being available in the house. If you have extra equipment do this, just to make your camera handy.

 

2. Turn OFF the perfection in your head. If you are anything like me I have to fight. “Can I  really try that? Will others make fun of me?” thoughts that come up. You don’t have to share these images with a soul and WHO cares about this fake people in your head. Create what you see. Plain and simple.

 

3. Create a brainstorm list of places, moments, things to capture. If you drive by a cool park, write it down to remember. A fun wall or restaurant? Keep track of them so that when you actually have time you can go back there and create.

 

4. Plan but don’t plan. Yes, I think we all should block off time in our calendars to make sure this gets done. Yet, be ok with the spontaneous and roll with life’s punches. Some weeks will be harder than others and that is ok. This isn’t suppose to create more stress. Date your camera. For real y’all. 

 

5. Shoot slow. During a wedding I feel that sometimes I have my finger glued to the shutter button to not miss that first kiss or that smile. Also, How I typically shoot involves a lot of movement so I am purposefully hitting that button. Yet, I love the way it feels to SLOW the freak down and really think about each image. Shooting film will do this for you right away. Each shutter release is worth $$, that is the beauty of it. Anyways, take deep breaths and shoot slow. Maybe even challenge yourself to 12 shots or 5 that day. Grow and have fun here will slowing down.

 

Alright. Are you ready to date that camera of yours? Take it out for a little stroll? I sure am. Also, share the love! If you have any tips on how you keep loving your camera share here, I am sure there are many more ways and I would love to be inspired by you!

   

  1. crystal blackledge

    I would LOVE to join! The last time I did this was about 7 weeks ago when we had our final snow here in MN, I went into the woods, it was lovely! Beautiful images.

  2. Sarah

    I love this Gina! I find that my what fires me up list is a good resource for personal inspiration… I can look at my list and want to photograph all those pieces that already make me happy! Film, has been a wonderful outlet that I shoot for me and to learn to shoot slower. There is something magical about not knowing what I instantly capture. On the flip side I need to do the same with my digital camera… shoot, push myself, and turn off the perfection switch. I need to shoot more of real life… just like the ones of my pup playing with the cardboard box. I love that series! I would love to join your new FB group! These images make me excited for summer camping. Cannot wait to see a mountain lake again 🙂

  3. Emily Steffen

    GINA! 🙂 These images have such a story to them. I LOVE! 🙂 What a great “project”….a refresher for sure! 🙂

  4. Vincent

    Thank you for posting this! So timely! I’ve been in a really dry season and God has been getting my attention in so many ways, including this post 🙂

    Please keep me posted if you start a Facebook group, I’d love to join!

  5. Sara

    I love this and the cabin looks like an awesome place to sneak off to for reflection and relaxation! Even though I’m not a photographer, I got a really, really nice camera earlier this year and do not use it enough. I love the idea to set aside camera dates! I’m totally doing that!

  6. Lauren Jolly

    Gina! This was such a great post! I’ve been looking forward to reading it since yesterday when you posted about it on Instagram! I’d love to be a part of this effort! I have been struggling so much with this lately, mostly because my camera is fairly old. I have been renting cameras for events and have fallen out of love with mine. It makes me sad because it’s the camera that helped me fall in love with photography! I can’t wait to date my camera!

  7. Victoria B

    I love this and I love film! I have been so stressed about my business. I don’t even know if I want to keep it open anymore! I think just pausing and relaxing and shooting again will really help me. Plus I would love the Facebook community to chat with about it.

  8. Stephanie Rita

    I was just thinking about this idea other day. I used to go on really long walks with my camera and take pictures of everything! I need to start doing that again! Thanks for this post, Gina! -Stephanie

  9. Diane Taylor

    Great post Gina – my skills at capturing images is not good at all, evidenced by how many times I hit the little trash can button on my phone when I take a “bad” shot!!! You inspire me to not trash my phtotos, and look at them in a new way. Raw, untouched, real, flawed….and that’s ok!

  10. Becky Kalin

    Ohhh Gina…thank you for this, from the bottom of my heart. I needed the push and the reminder of these words, but your images…they really got to me. I’ve been neglecting my new-to-me F100 because I couldn’t see past my frustration to figure out why it wasn’t working correctly. Seeing the story your images tell (with only a hint of people in them) lit a fire in me. The camera is “fixed”, more film has been ordered, and most importantly I have had creative ideas swirling about in my head for the first time in months. Thank you friend, thank you so much. <3 Love you…

  11. Amanda Porter

    so i bought myself a fancy camera once (with the thinking, “Oh I’m totally going to learn how to use all of these snazzy features.” <– just grabbed it from a drawer and charged it up!! Will be taking it off this weekend for a spin. LOVE THIS IDEA! LOVE YOU! AND LOVE THESE IMAGES!!

  12. Annie {little & ever}

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful photos. And a beautiful get-away spot. Looks like proper rest and relaxation x

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    GINA! I actually DID IT!! took the snazzy camera out from hiding & even tough i don’t really know how to use it, got some great photos from a fabulous weekend! thank you, thank you for this encouragement. found that i truly LOVE taking photos, and it really fires me up!! <– guess i need to add it to my list 🙂

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    Love this! I have totally been having a dry spell, only taking my camera out for sessions. I am missing the day to day things, where I draw most of my inspiration.

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