Photographers, why you should carry a notebook with you, all the time.

My travel stuff

Hello there ! You should be ready now for your trip. Lenses, cameras, backpack, tent, phone, keys, wallet… every thing is ready. You even thought to take a jacket in case of cold weather. But have you ever think to take a notebook with you ? I already ear the voices « Why should I carry a notebook, I don’t even know what to do with that ? ».

Well, you should reconsider it.

That’s definitely a way to learn how works spaces, atmospheres, and also a way not only to keep everything in mind, but to understand things. And of all of that, a photographer should care.

Let me explain. I am an absolute fan of traveller’s notebook. When I was looking at all those pages, full of incredible drawings, with notes on it telling sensations and fellings, doodles, and whatelse, I said : « why not me ? ». Before being in visual effects industry, I was architect and I used to do that a lot.

First, It definitely helps into the creative process. Because you are taking time to note what impressions you are feeling at a certain moment (during shooting in middle of nature, or 2 hours after in a coffeeshop), and putting it on paper, you are asking yourself questions. « What am I feeling right now and what can I tell about what I am experiencing/ I experienced ». And believe me, when you come back to your home, wait few days to see what you wrote a long time ago, you will feel a very cool souvenir. It all about memories. Time suspended. We can have memories of the travel, but it is really different to be confronted to YOURSELF at a certain moment, in the past.

No need to be a good writer, no need to be a good drawer neither (every thing come with patience). No matter you are travelling or only doing street photography. The simple fact you choose to pick up something in your experience is something already important.
Here a little exemple of picking up some details in your environnement. I was camping at Bonaventure, Gaspésia, and I decided to draw the several way of camping I saw just around me.

To give you an example, I make a road trip to Gaspesia, in the north of Canada. I took few minutes to drew a serie of several camping-car that was surrunded me. I also choose to do a point of view from the various places I stayed. When I say drawing, it can be only doodles, textures, one tree, one detail you noticed, anything !

But not only drawings, I tooks notes, and those notes, once written, stayed in my mind during the whole trip. And knowing what I had written, it allowed me to write more and more ideas. You don’t have to write a novel, but only key words. Don’t even think of what you are writing. We don’t care if it haven’t any sense. Don’t feel shy, this is a personal notebook. This work is not made for everyone to see it, only from you. Then you can see the processus of your thoughts. Thanks to do that, I was able, once at home, to write a little text next to my serie in Gaspesia. (soon online!)

I love to takes notes of what I am reading in books or what I see outside.

The only simple goal of all that, is to take pleasure. Don’t feel obliged to do one if it is not your cup of tea, that’s OK. But if ever you want to see what it’s like, do that real time travel. And travel for photographers is so important.

PS : Please, have mercy on me, don’t try with this absolutely sad and monotone black Moleskine. Choose one with ananas, flowers, stripes or palm tree on it. Or cats even. Choose anything else, any other paper, with or without lines, no matter. The essential is to take pleasure from it.

Some of my lovely notebooks