One Hour of Street Photography is Enough
Because one keeper is still a great day
They say you should have a certain reader in mind when writing a blog post.
If you write as if to one person, everyone who reads it can take that as being them.
For this post, that one person is me. But if the message is relevant to you, then you’re the target audience also.
Not shooting as much street photography as you want to?
Let’s do this together.
What stops us shooting more street photography
I should shoot more street photography than I do. I should be going out more often with my camera than I do. I should be producing more work than I do.
The excuse is always life gets in the way.
Maybe you need to go to work, or have your own work that you need to get done.
That’s often my excuse.
No shooting today, Lee. Got work to do.
And it is an excuse. It’s not a reason. It’s merely an excuse.
An excuse that can be habit-forming when uttered often enough. It forms the habit of not going out and shooting your street photography.
Is this sounding familiar so far?
One good street photograph is better than none
I know this.
I see an image I like on Instagram and, in that moment, I don’t need any more from whoever posted it.
That’s not to say I don’t like photo sets, series, or projects. I love them, and wish more people would do them. But there’s a time and a place.
There’s also a way to build them slowly.
Despite what I tell myself, I don’t need to make a whole set in one day.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” — Lao Tzu
If you make one photograph you like each day, it’s one step towards the greater set you’re building. The series that is your lifetime work.
Throw something up on Instagram today, or wherever else you post your photography, and let the likes motivate you for tomorrow.
Or put it on your hard drive with all the other keepers and let the growing set motivate you.
Do either, and see where you are in a year.
Still with me?
Doing very little by wanting to do too much
So why haven’t I been doing this?
Well, as touched on earlier, I have some voice telling me if I go out with my camera I have to come back with enough keepers to make the day worth it.
Exactly what that number is, I can’t say, but it’s enough to make me not go out at all if I can’t give it a full day, or a full morning or afternoon.
Unless you’re in a fortunate situation though, you can’t expect to be able to go out all day with your camera whenever you want to.
So I would pick my days and tell myself that’s when I’ll shoot.
I’d tell myself that tomorrow or the day after or whenever is a photography day. So I won’t bother today because I don’t have much free time so it’s not worth it.
And that is a complete cop out.
It’s led to not doing as much street photography as I want to be doing; not creating as much as I want to create, and not improving as much as I want to improve.
Now does that sound familiar?
One hour of street photography is enough
Here’s the thing, though.
To get your one good street photograph per day as mentioned earlier, you don’t need to block out your whole diary.
I dare say that most times you do head out for a whole morning, afternoon or day, you get at least one keeper within the first hour anyway.
So why not just head out for an hour whenever you can?
I have work today but why can’t I leave the house an hour earlier and get some street photography in?
There’s really no reason why.
And if I do give myself that hour with my camera, I’m sure I’ll get the following things:
- the satisfaction of knowing I created something today
- time to work on improving my photography
- at least one keeper I can throw up on Instagram or add to my growing set
The alternative is creating nothing, not improving, and having nothing to show to yourself or to anyone else.
So what about you?
When can you squeeze in an hour of street photography today and tomorrow? It’s a genuine question. I have no idea of your life and you might actually have no time.
But then again, you might just be able to find some.
How long do you spend on Facebook or Netflix every day?
Turn it off.
Go out and create something if you can.
One hour of street photography is enough.