Tag Archives hybrid dave

Thanks for coming by. It’s #HybridDaveTuesdays here at ScottKelby.com once again, and this week to keep in theme with the money-related posts from the past few weeks, I’m going to cap it off with one more – the value of you! My intention is to give you a gentle reminder of just how much you’re worth as a photographer, or other creative, and why.

So, here’s what happens: That gripe we all have surfaces – we moan endlessly as photographers about being approached by people and asked to shoot something for nothing. The phrase, “you can use it for your portfolio” seems to be the favourite. On social forums, we share our experiences and offer advice, usually in the form of a rant, and rage about how a plumber doesn’t work for free so why should people expect us to? Well, here’s something that also happens: we’re approached by a prospective client, who maybe is a friend of a friend, and rather than pitching a price we’ll say, “yeah, I’ll shoot that for you for nothing.” It’s true, I’m afraid. We’re our own worst enemies! The reason we get the “will you do it for free?” question is because we will. We will do it for free, for a friend, for our portfolio, for the recognition, or for the foot in the door. It’s a two-way street and a causal factor to the questioning pitched is our willingness to impress and say yes.

It’s a big world out there, and there’s a lot of competition. It’s true that when it comes to hiring a photographer you get what you pay for. Take it to another market – airlines. If I fly from London to Canada on WestJet I’m getting a bargain price, but I’m not getting fed, not getting a baggage allowance, not getting a high-quality entertainment console, and likely not getting much legroom. If I splash some more cash, I can tap up British Airways and get a meal or two, a suitcase, a range of movies, and my knees are probably not going to be up by my ears. Lenses – Do I want the one I found on eBay for fifty bucks, with innards made of warped plastic and sealing so bad it turns into a flask when it rains? Or should I spend that little bit more for the Canon lens made of real glass, weather sealed to the max, and accompanied with a guarantee to boot? I know the answer, you know the answer, so why do we undervalue ourselves? Why do we cause the very problem, as an industry, that we complain about?

It’s important that we value ourselves. Give the value of you, and give yourself value. Here’s an example:  If you shoot weddings, you can command £10,000 for what is, tangibly, almost the same thing as you’d be giving someone for £1,000. It’s the same hours, the same venue, the same “models,” and most likely, not a dissimilar album or online gallery received at the end of it. Sure there can be some differences, but essentially it’s not far from being the same thing. So, how do you arrive at charging £10,000? Well, it’s in the value of you!

The intention of this blog post is not to deliver a class in how to price yourself as a photographer or creative, it’s to point you in the right direction to setting the highest price you can achieve. Whether you set your price per hour, per image, or per job, it makes no difference to setting a true value for yourself and your ability. The difference it does make, however, is between being able to pay your bills or not!

I quickly learned when starting out in photography that the repeat customer is crucial to stability. I wanted to make sure that if I had a client book me for a corporate shoot that they wanted me again for the next one. I wanted to make sure that if I shot a wedding I was noticed by the guests to shoot their upcoming weddings and their families and friends, too. And I did just that, all because I valued myself and, even after occasionally knocking off 10% to seal the deal, I set my price as a true reflection of what I was able to deliver and the quality of my images.

That relates now, too. With agencies contacting me and asking for quotes, I must ensure I set the figure correctly. One example is this:-

I got a brief from Mars UK at the beginning of December to shoot a situational product shot – a box of their chocolates and a Christmas tree. The brief was a couple of pages, but that’s essentially what they were asking. I went and got the product, took the shot, composed my offer price and submitted the lot. They got what they wanted, and they loved the shot. My entry price was £120 – it reflected the expenses I had incurred, the time I had used, the engagement the photo was likely to receive, and ultimately it reflected my value. The thing is, alongside saying that they loved the shot, the client also asked me to reduce my fee to £50. £50! They said they had a limited budget and wanted to get as many influencers on board as possible. The industry guidance for the reach I get, and the audience due to see my photos in this arena, says that I should be charging £100-180 per photo. I landed at the lower end of this figure with the mindset at the time that it’s Christmas, I need Christmas photos anyway, and although it was work, it wasn’t exactly hard work. To then get a slap-in-the-face £50 offer, totally devaluing me, it’s probably obvious how this story ends, but I’ll tell you anyway: suffice to say, I never posted that shot. You may be wondering why I turned down £50. Here’s why:-

When you give something to a client for cheap or free because they have a small budget, what happens on their next job when they have a large budget? Let’s say you are the one who says yes and accepts the small budget fee, and they also ask me but I say no. I tell them that’s not enough; I’m worth more than that. Just as soon as their large budget job arrives, and they’re looking for photographers to fulfill the job, is it you who they remember for shooting cheap? No, it’s me they remember – I’m the one that commands the right price and has the tenacity to turn down the wrong price. So, in their eyes, I’m the one that’s worth spending the bigger bucks on. I’m the expensive guy. I must be better, right? Finally, flip it around and think of it from a client’s point of view: if you pay me well, I’ll want to do a great job, and keep coming back to do more great jobs in the future.

If you want to take a look in detail at how to conduct yourself business-wise in the world of photography, I’d totally recommend watching Tim Wallace’s class on KelbyOne.com. But, for now, I hope I’ve provoked your thoughts just a little, and that you’ll take a look at whether you really are reflecting the value of you when you set your price!

Much love

Dave

#HybridDaveTuesdays has landed again! Straight into the flow this week, as it connects to last weeks post.. here goes!

We’ve all scrolled through Instagram and seen, usually 4th post from the top, a sponsored post. These paid ads end up there direct from companies who are paying Instagram for the spot, but here’s a secret for you… Just like last week when I told you that you can make money from stock, you can also make money by posting on Instagram! Take a look…

 

 

That’s me leaning awkwardly on the rear wing of a £130,000 supercar, but it isn’t my supercar! That car belongs to BMW. In fact, it only has 200 miles on the clock. It’s loaned out as a promo car as part of a larger fleet and, in exchange, BMW gets an invoice from me for posting about their awesome car and the expenses associated with that. Thing is, and perhaps this is a little nod to Scott, I’m not sure I enjoyed shooting the car quite as much as I enjoyed shooting the burger for Byron Burger!! So there’s a time when it’s appropriate to be ‘social media loud’ and as an influencer, so long as you’re backed up with justification for being loud, you should be! Let me show you that post and then we’ll get into the how’s of monetising Instagram!

 

 

Number One on your list is to establish yourself on Instagram. By this I mean checking the things off this list:-

  • Having a consistent theme to make yourself attractive to agents.
  • Having a substantial following, over 1k, to maximise your reach.
  • Having a good engagement rate to show your images are actually noticed. 5% is a good baseline.

Once you’ve got that sorted you can move on to dangling the carrot to agents to get the cash flow started.

 

 

This shot is one of the first I posted that made me some money as an influencer. Thing is, I took this photo 2 years before I posted it. The approach taken here was that the client, in this case The National Lottery, took their budget and split it across a load of influencers. The correct term here is Mirco Influencers, meaning that the brief has been sent out far and wide rather than to one or a handful of influencers. For this shot, bearing in mind I’d already taken it, I picked up £46. It starts out as pocket money and grows on success all the way up to the likes of @beautifuldestinations which is essentially an influencer account – let’s discuss the kind of things they achieve which you can achieve too.

 

 

As well as cash, and sometimes instead, you can get products too. This shot was taken for BoxFresh and as well as paying the bill they sent me a pair of trainers they were looking to promote. You’ll have noticed a lot of flat lay shots, I’m sure, where the product is the centre of attention but these ‘situational’ shots are also a big deal and as long as you have the time to get them they’re an easy income stream. Below is a Wilkinson Sword razor which is part of the range launched to coincide with the Star Wars release and both of these shots were taken on my iPhone in a few minutes. It really can be money for nothing sometimes.

 

 

So how do you make the cash start to flow? Well, once you’ve hit the three points on the checklist above it’s time to do these two things:-

  1. Get onto Facebook and search for ‘influencers’ – you’ll find a whole bunch of groups and pages dedicated to connecting influencers with brands, some big and some small, but wherever you start it’s a foot in the door to bigger things.
  2. Search Google for influencer agencies. One such agency is Tribe. When you’re signed up you can access their entire list of campaigns and find something that suits you. From there just compose a shot and caption and submit it along with your asking price – if you’re approved you can post it and get paid!

When you’re being noticed by agencies and brands after posting a few times you’ll find it becomes easier to get briefs and if there’s a particular brand you want to reach out to for any reason they can see from your account that you have some credibility behind your offer. Chances are they’ll contact you though, and from the first job there’s always the opportunity to prove yourself with repeat work and become a brand ambassador!

It’s as easy as that. I’ve given you 5 points altogether and once you’ve hit them you can start to work with the brands, score some free products, have cool experiences like hotel stays and activities, and see extra money start to be injected into your bank account.

I hope this has been helpful, and if you need an extra hand with anything I’ve talked about here please feel free to ask! I’m @hybriddave on Instagram and I’m happy to help :)

Much love

Dave

 

Winter is coming people!

It’s that time again, I’m back to share my weekly dose of photographic wisdom under the lovingly crafted hashtag – #HybridDaveTuesdays

This week it’s something I feel I have a good standing to talk about due to my love of cold places. I’m going to tell you about shooting in the cold in the form of a list. If the internet has taught me only one thing it’s that everybody loves a list, right? By the way, I realise that winter is only approaching in the northern hemisphere and I’m kinda excluding half of the population of the entire world, but I’m finding peace from that with the knowledge that you southerners are about to have your Christmas BBQ’s fired up!

So here goes!

 

Here’s some snow…… it’s authentic Finnish

 

Tip #1 – Never delete anything in camera!

Snow is a funny old thing. It tricks our cameras as well as our eyes. There WILL be shots you look at of snowy scenes on the back of your camera that look terrible, but then when you get them up in Lightroom or Camera Raw they’ll look amazing following a tweak or two.

 

Tip #2 – Keep your gear cold

When you take your gear from cold to warm (like in and out of a hotel or rental car) it puts a strain on it. Once it’s cold, keep it cold. It can short out the electrics if condensation forms inside the camera. The worst thing you can do is to actively try and warm your gear up or try to make it warm near the heat vent or under your ski jacket. Furthermore, if you see that shot and pull out your camera but it instantly fogs you’ll have nothing to show your friends! I remember shooting in Finnish Lapland where I visited the Wild Spirit Animal park and just after meeting Romeo the wooly pig and before meeting Spike the Husky I was taken into a small, round cabin with a fire burning inside for a hot drink to warm me up. I left my camera outside on a pile of wood so it stayed cold and was ready to shoot again as soon as I was back out.

 

Cold enough for an Arctic Fox

 

Tip #3 – Except your batteries. Keep them warm!

There’s some science here. I mean, I don’t know what it is, but it’s here! So basically, if your batteries are exposed to the cold they’ll lose power quicker. I’ve experienced this first hand, it definitely happens. I was shooting the northern lights in the Icelandic Westfjords up on top of a mountain. I couldn’t feel my face, it was that cold. Whatever was happening to my batteries due to the cold happened pretty quick. The power was just going. What I discovered is that if I kept my batteries in my inside pockets my body heat kept them going for longer.

 

Tip #4 – Then warm your gear back up slowly!

I learned this the hard way! Kirkjufellsfoss, shown below, is an iconic Icelandic waterfall with it’s namesake mountain right behind it. Take a look here though – I have a nice wide lens mounted on my Nikon D810 but the middle of the shot is all hazy and soft. This is a direct result of having moisture build up inside the lens. It’s virtually impossible to remove in post because it ruins a whole portion of the image. Bottom line is to consider ways to warm your gear up slowly. Put it in the boot of the rental car where it’s that little bit colder and far from the heating, and put it inside your bag (closed) when you take it indoors so that it gradually adjust to the new, warmer climate. If your camera does get moist for any reason, keep it somewhere dry and of a consistent temperature, and leave ALL of the ports wide open to give the moisture an easy escape.

 

Kirkjufellsfoss, with Kirkjufell in the background – Iceland

 

Tip #5 – Overexpose for white snow

What our eyes see as pure, white snow filling the landscape, our camera sees as overexposed and so brings your camera down a notch or two. To combat this, it’s a wise idea to shoot a little over. It’s the number one tip you’ll always see on advice for shooting snow but it’s easily overcome so just be mindful of it and shoot over – you can always bring things back down in Photoshop if you’re way too bright. On a sidetone, your Auto White Balance will often change things a little towards to blue end – another thing to bear in mind. If you’re the type to use a grey card or a light meter then fine, but I’m not and I consider it all in post.

 

Some snowy bushes in Iceland

 

Tip #6 – Don’t concentrate only on snow

There’s so much more going on and snowy scenes are in themselves very romantic, I find. This shot below is of a couple stood alone outside the beautiful House of the Roundheads in Riga and although they’re only a tiny feature of the images, they add to it just enough. As with everything you shoot, snow has a tendency to get very ‘samey’ and breaking it up with details, much like you would when shooting a wedding, you’re giving it a new perspective and engaging your audience and lifting interest.

 

House of the Roundheads – Riga, Latvia

 

Tip #7 – Shoot the fauna

Even if it’s hard to find some! There are two animals which epitomise Iceland – horses and puffins – and here’s 50% of that combo! Shooting animals helps give a sense of their hardiness to the testing climates they find themselves in and if you get it right, showing their character, it can give the viewer an intense connection!

 

An Icelandic Horse

 

Tip #8 – And the flora

Good luck finding some! Much like the animals, showing the hardiness of the plant life can create a connection between the viewer and the image. It mixes up and breaks up the images of snow scene after snow scene too!

 

Lapland

 

Tip #9 – Capture the festivities

There’s a 50% chance (hemispherically) that winter means it’s Christmas! Alongside this, there’s so much going on and it all tends to give contrast to the cold. Warm fires, hot chocolates and fairground rides – it’s all beautiful, especially when you capture it right. Going to a Christmas market with a camera can yield some awesome results.

 

One of many Christmas markets in Berlin, Germany

So there’s 9 tips for shooting in the cold, I hope you can use them! Right now I’m in Tromsø, Norway, way up in the Arctic Circle (oh the power of the internet!) and you can check my progress on my Instagram story or on Facebook to see the snow I’m seeing :)

 

Until next time!

Much love

Dave

 

 

Hey hey! It’s #TravelTuesday again here on ScottKelby.com and that means it’s time for this weeks #HybridDaveTuesdays post! This week I want to talk to you about my prior aversions to auto-ISO and how I overcame them.

ISO stands for International Standards Organisation, and it’s a standardised scale for measuring sensitivity to light. That’s boring though. It pertains in todays world to how sensitive a sensor is, but was obviously used in its same scale for measuring the sensitivity of film. It’s one of the three elements of exposure, alongside Aperture and Shutter Speed, but although these two are commonly understood it seems that ISO is the link in the chain which causes the most confusion.

I won’t make this a lesson on ISO, more of a glimpse of why I have switched to auto-ISO. And it was a bit of a big deal for me because I like to retain absolute control with my camera and basically not let it think for itself….. here’s what happened:-

ISO at higher sensitivity always used to mean grainy exposures. Noisy images and a lack of quality. Well looking at recent developments in the quality of higher ISO performance it’s certainly fair to say that it’s no longer as relevant as it used to be. I’ve shot fully manual for as long as I can remember, but it’s because of one situation very recently that I realised that perhaps auto-ISO is the way forward. Here’s the shot:-

 

The Mechanic – An old mechanic in his workshop in Marrakech

 

So I was hunting for candid portraits all day in Marrakech with Scott, his brother Jeff, and good friend Mike. We found one thing universally characteristic of Moroccans – the aversion to having their photo taken! Finding our candids was no easy task so everything had to be set up exactly right for the moments which presented themselves, which were not at all prevalent. To get this shot which I’d seen from the minivan we were cruising Marrakech in I had to ask the driver to go around (which I wasn’t doing for the first time that day) to get another glimpse through the open door into this mechanics garage. Upon stepping, at the 200mm end of my lens, across to shoot this the old gent raised his hands and lowered his head. It was a split second, but knowing exactly what I wanted from my shutter and my aperture I was able to use auto ISO to get the right exposure.

What I’ve discovered is that contrary to my previous fear of raising the ISO, I’ve now swung the other way and would much rather have a well exposed image even if it does have a little grain. Nobody ever really looked at a well exposed and well composed image and turned their nose up at the noise caused by a high ISO. In fact there are many, many tutorials telling you how to add noise to your images. Furthermore, removing a thought process and giving the camera the decision with regards to ISO makes the whole process a whole lot easier unless there’s a specific reason why I need to retake control. I’ve found it a really rewarding experience to concentrate more on the image and less on the settings, particularly when I can’t afford so much time on a shot.

So in essence I’m telling you this:-

Have a read of your camera manual, learn about auto ISO (and what I’ll call semi-auto, whereby you set limits) and give it a try. You might love it just as much as I do.

Much love

Dave

 

(By the way, the picture I’ve shown you is actually two photos. The old man’s reactions were far quicker than mine – they really don’t like having their photo taken! One shot has a clear view of his face with a huge chunk of trailer in the way blocking parts of the workshop. If you think you can spot the major changes feel free to get in touch and I’ll tell you if you’re right! You can find me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram)

 

You need a drone…right?

It’s that time of week again! #HybridDaveTuesdays, on #TravelTuesday, right here on ScottKelby.com—boom! So, I caught you with that bait title and now I need to deliver the goods. Let’s do this!

 

Old Harry Rocks in Dorset, UK, shot from my Mavic Pro

I’ll start by offering you a view of Old Harry (the little rock at the end closest to the lens) as seen from 69 metres up. It’s a view that would have cost the price of renting a helicopter or airplane, gambling with the risk of weather, and far less flexibility in maneuvering and fine-tuning.

The market for consumer and prosumer drones is growing like you wouldn’t believe. DJI, manufacturers of the Phantom and Mavic among others, are now the worlds largest aircraft manufacturer AND the worlds largest camera manufacturer. So what does that mean for us photographers?

Well, for me as a travel photographer, it’s all about two things:

  1. Capturing familiar places from unseen angles.
  2. Finding brand new places with no previously seen view.

That means using a drone, which can travel the world with me and can demonstrate an optical performance, which maintains the aesthetics of my portfolio. Mavic, if you were wondering. But, this post isn’t about why I need a drone, it’s about why you need one!

Number one: It’s the best toy ever! The number of times I’m flying and some passer-by sees me with a controller in my hand and immediately stops in their tracks, craning their neck skyward, trying to nonchalantly spot my drone soaring high; or the yell of a child upon noticing the whirr of the rotors, exclaiming to their parents, “Look, a drone!” It’s a fantastic attention-grabber and this translates to the commercial world of a subscribed audience—for example, the fascination of guests and couples when I’ve pulled out a drone whilst shooting weddings is a great marketing tool, not to mention the awesome perspective the paying couple will get for their album.

 

Somewhere in the Black Forest in Germany, shot from my Mavic Pro

Next up, it opens up a whole world when it comes to water. A lot of drone work we see includes water, and that’s because it’s an entirely new world which, short of hiring a helicopter or a boat, wasn’t possible before drones. We can get low and shoot long, get a bit of altitude and throw in some 45-degree views, or go straight up and shoot bird’s eye view, just as a few from many possibilities. Water is, as we all know, the carpet to two-thirds of our planet, and the amount of action going on there carries an intimate captivity, which lends itself to so many awesome views.

 

The Pacific Ocean, off the California coast, shot with my Phantom 3

 

Malibu Farm Pier, CA, shot with my Phantom 3

Drone flying is just impressive. People are fascinated by flight, and by cool new views of things, and the fact that you have a toy (/weapon) in your backpack that can launch—that’s right I said launch—is just intrinsically cool! Drones are one of the most impressive pieces of commercially available kit to hit the ground (see what I did there?) in the last few years, and with just a little practice, you can get some awesome photos and videos to share and boost both your portfolio and your reputation. Also, when you talk about your drone, you get to use words like “velocity” and “attitude,” which makes me wet myself a little bit. ;)

The dot next to the rental is me, shot in Arizona with my Phantom 3

The cost: It’s cheaper than you think! My first drone experience involved a lot of money. And a crash. That memory echoed through me every time I looked at getting another drone, in particular, the cost of replacing it if I killed another one. Well, the advances that have been made in drone tech are astounding. Two particular examples that stand out to me in terms of the automatic features, which DJI spent many, many hours perfecting in order to stop me from crashing my drone, are these:

I was driving through the USA. Nevada, I think. I was making my way along a valley and noticed the awesome mountain changing beside me. It was near Navajo Rock and bore colours not dissimilar to it, so I had to get the drone up and get the shot. Winds were steady and high, but out came the DJI Phantom 3. I took off and the wind caught the Phantom, taking it sideways toward a rock face. The thing was nearly on its side in the air, but the GPS and all the other gadgets built into it kept it flying steady, albeit practically on its side. My better judgment told me to land it, but the demonstration of its stability was incredible, and the awesome tech flew by itself to keep in position.

The other example is when I took the photo up top of Old Harry Rocks in Dorset, a couple of miles from my parent’s home. I stood on a cliff top and the winds were gusting something unreal—the air was still, then felt about 50 MPH, then back to still, then back to 50 in seconds. I had my DJI Mavic Pro on the ground all ready to go. When you launch a drone, it’s good practice to hold a low hover for a short time as a kind of systems-check, and in the case of the Mavic, it takes that opportunity to use two ground-facing cameras to take a snapshot of its take-off point, so it can auto-land back in the exact spot. Whilst I held this hover, the intermittent, wild wind made my poor Mavic flap. My drone was literally wobbling in the air as if it were Homer Simpson on one of those fat shakers. The sound of the motors working hard with fine changes to deal with the deflected air buffeting the cliff below was a sad, sad sound, but it held itself with no control input from me, keeping its cool and just dealing with it until I gave it enough altitude to get out of the situation. Kudos, DJI.

But, what I was actually talking about was the price. That Phantom 3 is around $500, and the Mavic is around $1000. For what you get it’s totally worth the investment. By the way, never say anything like “I digress.” All that does is remind people that you’re digressing. ;)

 

A shot from a wedding taken with my Phantom 3

The photos and videos you can make can be absolutely stunning. Interesting at worst. I don’t need to explain this point in depth, as it pretty much speaks for itself. Drone laws are surprisingly relaxed. In the USA, stay below 400 feet, don’t fly within 5 miles of an airport (unless you’ve contacted the tower for permission), don’t fly over the Super Bowl—it’s basically all common sense. Just don’t risk being one of those drone pilots who makes the evening news and screws up my and Terry White‘s fun!

 

The Alpine foothills on the Austrian/German border, shot with my Mavic Pro

So, what about commercial use? Well my buddy J.R. (who can be seen here on Instagram) has photos plastered on his pickup advertising his successful photography business, and occupying a third of the back portion is a shot of his DJI Phantom 4. It’s there for good reason, and the reason is that the perspective offered by drones brings a whole new lease on life into real estate photography. (Lease. Get it? Real estate… catch up!) Not only that, but tennis clubs, golf clubs, marinas, country houses, aerial surveys—they are all potential earners for your photo/video business if you have a drone.

 

Soaring above Simi Valley, taken by J.R Maddox with his Phantom 4

 

By J.R Maddox with his Phantom 4

 

So, in summary, if you’re thinking of getting a drone, you probably should! It’s a decision you won’t regret!

 

Much love,

Dave

 

A Gator in Florida shot on my Phantom 3

Take a deep breath in…hold it…now exhale….

Mindfulness is filling our world right now. Our world is hectic, ever digital, shorter-scheduled, higher-pressured, and it creates angst. Perhaps the cause is right there in that sentence, but whatever it is we’re constantly looking for ways out. Yoga seems the most popular, but for me it’s photography. No matter the stress caused by taking photos or retouching them, the rewards are ever greater, but is there any scientific basis here or is it just me? And perhaps, more importantly, how do we keep photography fun and not let it become ‘labour’ in terms of mindfulness? It’s this specific point I’ll try to address.

My friend Mimo Meidany seems happy enough to escape with a camera here in Portugal

Simply holding a camera can induce mindfulness—having it in your hand and being ready, being aware. Scanning the environment around you for that great shot, and singling out the good qualities of the world into one scene. Photography, in this sense, isn’t just about having your ‘main camera,’ though, it’s also about recognising when you’ve chanced upon something beautiful and reaching for your phone to document it, supporting the awareness of the immediate experience and bringing it focus, alongside creativity, rather than putting it aside. It’s often the case, in fact, that the memory of taking the photo is echoed every time you see it. Take this photo:

I love this photo. I took it in Norway, not too far from Odda. It wasn’t deliberate at all. My intention was a day hiking to Trolltunga, but when I arrived at the start of the signposted route, and was met with busloads of tourists and a car park packed full of people with much the same intention as me, I decided that perhaps it wasn’t going to be the idyllic, desolate walk I’d anticipated and my attention turned elsewhere. If I hadn’t met that thought, I would never have taken this shot and regardless of its eventual use or its technical constitution, it remains one of my favourite photos. The photo is underlined, twice, with mindfulness. It’s making the best of the bad situation—finding beauty elsewhere, focussing my attention, and aligning my mindset.

Doing this, and maintaining positivity in photography, is so, so important. Photography is pretty unique as it stands in a gray area, somewhere between occupation and hobby. As we all know, monotony and tedium will push through to varying extents in any job we do. If photography is our job, we need to be aware of this, and take control of this negativity and maintain our ‘happy place’ in our mind when practicing. If it starts to become tedious, or the fire and passion that made photography so attractive to us start to dwindle, then an assertive drive to rekindle it must begin. See something new, find some beautiful light, do something fresh, and reflect on exactly why you take photos. For me, it’s about sharing what I see in the way I see it. That’s why, if you take a look on my social media channels, you’ll see the phrase, ‘Let me show you what I see’.

Me in my happy place

Try this: The next time you chance upon something and your reaction is to raise a camera and capture it, try to bring yourself into that moment. Immerse in what it is that made you do that and just be present. Everybody loses track of things once in a while, feels like throwing down their camera and forgetting it all, and that’s fine. Just don’t make it permanent. If you picked up a camera in the first place, there’s a creativity flowing through you which expresses who you are and what you see, and it takes hold of your soul and makes you who you are. Bring yourself back into the moment and remind yourself why you’re doing it all.

Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.

mindfulness

ˈmʌɪn(d)f(ʊ)lnəs/

Noun

1.
a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings,
thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

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