Well, it’s a couple of days past Christmas now and, hopefully, you have gotten some new gear or even a new camera. Whether it was a gift from someone else or a gift to yourself, there comes a sense of renewed energy and interest when you get to play with new stuff.
I know, I know… we always talk about how a photographer should be able to shoot with anything and it’s not the equipment, but sometimes we need to get that new camera body or lens to renew our excitement and interest.
But, if you did get something new, don’t forget to take your gear with you! I try to take my camera with me but it is so easy to get out of the habit. And, as long as you’re not missing any shots, you don’t think about it. It’s like insurance – you don’t need it until you do need it. And, when you see that great shot and you don’t have your camera with you, you’ll be regretting it for a long time.
It must have been about six years ago now. I was walking down the road in Solana Beach (California) shortly before sunset. The sun was low on the horizon, coloring everything with that beautiful golden hue that can only be found at that special time of day. I passed a barber shop and, having a nap on the bench outside, was a old-time barber. He was dressed in his crisp, white barber jacket, sleeping contentedly outside the shop, bathed in that beautiful light. At the time, there was a national photo contest going on with Americana as the theme. I don’t know if that picture would have won but I have little doubt that it would have placed. Between the setting, the light, and the subject, it would have made a great shot.
Yup, would have.
A little earlier in the day, I decided that I didn’t feel like taking my camera bag with me. So, there I was, presented with this amazing scene and my camera bag was in my hotel room, half an hour away. Six years later, I can still see that scene vividly in my mind and I can still feel the regret of not having my camera gear with me.
And, six years later, I still find myself forgetting to take my camera bag with me. I’m not sure why this is, whether it is a bad habit I need to break, or if I don’t like the extra weight, or what. But suffice to say that I still find myself forgetting to bring my camera with me. It’s something I’ve promised myself to work on in the new year and I would certainly appreciate you folks reminding me to do that.
But the real point of today’s post is to urge you, me, all of us to remember to keep our cameras with us. The camera is our most important tool. Without it, everything else about our photography is rendered meaningless. We can always delete bad pictures but it’s a rare chance to be able to recapture a scene after it’s happened.
This is actually a good jumping off point to talk about the next episode of Polarizing Images. Tony and I are talking about stagnation and what it means to find yourself bogged down in the details of running a photography business – from the marketing to sales and from printing portfolios to creating your brand – that you neglect the one thing that brought you to this point: photography.
I can assure you that I have felt stagnant lately and I am hoping that the podcast with Tony will help flesh out some ideas on how to get over it.
If you have ideas, I would love to hear them!