Why Going Out Shooting With a Friend is Important

My friends Peter Treadway, and Dave “Travel Tuesdays with Dave” Williams, and me, after a day of shooting around London a few years ago. Funny thing: I just went shooting with Peter and Dave in London last week (on different days), and at one point we wound up at this very same place.

I talk to a lot of photographers when I’m out on the road with my seminar, and I sometimes talk to folks who tell me that one of the things they love best about photography (often landscape photography in particular) is that it gives them an opportunity to be alone in a quiet setting. They love the chance to focus on something that allows them to block the rest of the world out. I totally get it. There are times I love tinkering with things; from my cameras to my guitars, where it’s just me and my gear and it’s quiet (well, it is until I turn on my amp), and there’s definitely a quiet satisfaction that comes from it all. But to really enjoy photography at that next level, you’ve got to try shooting with a friend, or even a few friends.

One of the things I love about golf…

…is that it’s a social sport. Perhaps the most social sport of all, because you generally spend more time riding in the cart, waiting on the golfers ahead of you to finish, and chatting with your buddies (about golf, about golf gear, about life and family) than you do actually hitting the ball. I love that about golf.

Photography is the same way in many cases.

When you press the shutter, the photography part happens very quickly — often in just a thousandth of a second — but walking with a friend doing street photography, or getting up early with a buddy to shoot sunrise, or hiking out to a location — those are times that are so special to me. Photography is a social sport.

And like golf…

Photography is something you can still continue to do late in life. A lot of sports you have to hang up at some age because the physical demand of sports like Tennis or Basketball or football become too much, but photography is like golf in that you can do it late into life and still enjoy it as much (you just start searching for things on Google like “light camera body” and “Lighter lenses.”

That’s Peter, Dave Clayton, me and my son Jordan in the same place as the shot at the top, but taken just a week or so ago.

It’s Why Photo Walks surprise people

Each year I host a Worldwide Photo Walk™ and one of the comments I hear most often is how surprised people are that just walking around with a group of folks is as much fun as it is. The social aspect of photography is huge, and once you go on a photo walk with other people, you get it. Photography is meant to be shared; visually and socially.

Today, I’m encouraging you to go out shooting with a friend. Even if you’re one of those folks who enjoy the solitude of shooting alone, I hope you’ll call up a friend and make a time to go shooting together.

You’ll help each other; you’ll laugh, you’ll share your images, and you’ll share each other’s company. Try it once, and you might be surprised how much you enjoy it, and the fact that it gets you out shooting more often. It’s like exercising with a friend, or running with a friend, or even dining out with a friend. Taking photos with a friend can be incredibly satisfying and fun and, it can even give your photography a boost. Why not invite a friend to go shooting this week?

Here’s wishing you lots of friends to go shooting with, and many great times and images from the experience. :)


P.S. If you live in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia or Detroit, hundreds of photographers are all coming together on one day in each city for my “Ultimate Photography Crash Course.” Come on out and spend the day with a few hundred of your potential new shooting buddies. Tickets and details here.

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