I used to wait to pick up my camera until I wanted to shoot, or until I had something to shoot, or until I had time. Let’s face it: there are days I just don’t want to pick up my camera. And some days, the desire is there, but the time is not. And then I wondered why I wasn’t growing as quickly as I wanted. Frustrated with feeling stagnant, I began to pick up my camera daily, determined to grow and learn as much as I could. Don’t get me wrong, there are still days the camera stays in the bag, but when that happens, it’s intentional and not because of excuses. Breaks are good for all of us. Excuses are not. I have found that shooting nearly every day has helped me far beyond my technical ability. Here are three surprising results from shooting every day.
By being intentional to shoot daily, I am building in myself a discipline beyond the technical skills of being a photographer. I became a photographer out of love for the art. I put my head down and work at it daily because I know that simply loving photography won’t make me better at it. Oftentimes, working hard is not about our enjoyment, but about our growth. If any of us want to succeed, passion is a great place to start. But passion doesn’t take us very far without some grit and tenacity. By making the choice to get my camera out each day, I am choosing daily to work for my success.
Letting Go of Perfection
By picking up my camera each day, I am forced to let go of my need for perfection. No one can be perfect all of the time. When you force yourself to shoot every day, you come face to face with your middle of the road, mediocre work, and you realize… it’s OK. That middle of the road work? It’s not so bad. That mediocre shot? It’s going in the memory books anyway because it captured an awesome moment you will treasure 20 years from now. And no one will care that the focus fell just in front of the eyes, or that the composition was off, etc.
If I only pick up the camera when the stars are aligned in my favor, when I have a session or when the time and circumstances are just right, then I’m missing the point entirely. Our growth is what we make of it. So the house is a mess? So the lighting isn’t ideal? So what? When you let go of perfection, you free yourself up to enjoy shooting and capturing the life that is happening around you.
Gratitude & Attitude
Shooting every day not only helps me let go and relax a little, it makes me grateful. When you find something to shoot every single day, you will find yourself looking for what inspires you, instead of waiting to stumble on it. Now that’s an awesome way to live. When I go about my day looking for things to capture, I find myself noticing moments that I may have otherwise overlooked. It encourages me and makes me thankful. Seek out inspiration. Choose it. You’ll not only be a better photographer for it, you’ll be a happier person, too.