mindfulness & photography
The digital world is well and truly ingrained into our lives with many feeling the need to document every waking moment with their phone, camera or video. Obviously there are many moments worth documenting but it's important to really notice what you are photographing rather than just photographing. Hopefully this short blog will help give a few ideas of what to photograph so you can achieve a more mindful approach towards your photography.
When you start photographing mindfully you improve your photography, photograph less, have more meaningful photographs and more time to really enjoy the moment! You'll begin to learn when a good photo is about to present itself because your observation skills will be refined.
1. Find something you enjoy and photograph that. I like gardening so every now and again I'll photograph plants in the garden. Notice where the light falls, where the shadow is. To begin with, don't even photograph, just look. Look at the colour of the light, is it a golden warm glow or a cool blue crisp colour. The time of day can give such a different feel to an object. Sit and look at the object so you can see the different colours and textures. Suddenly a leafless shrub from winter can look gorgeously delicate and moody.
2. Notice reflections in windows, mirrors, objects, see how they distort. If you couldn't see the line of the blind on the left this shot almost looks like a cardboard fan that has been painted. Before photographing imagine a rectangle that is your viewfinder. Think about the exposure or setting you want your camera on. Take two photographs, no more. If you want to photograph the same object again, instead of doing it straight away come back and photograph at a different time of day. The mood will be strikingly different.
3. Think about placement of objects and shoot from a different perspective. Instead of using faces all the time focus on part of the activity. Before even getting out your camera, think about what best tells the story and stick to your plan so you can enjoy the moment too. It also means the person doing the activity doesn't feel the need to look at the camera. Try to tell a short story without showing faces and remember you will only want a few photographs to tell the story.
4. Look for pockets of light. This is something I think I am always doing. You'll notice little glimpses everywhere and suddenly something you may have missed and passed over previously becomes quite beautiful and interesting. You don't even need a camera for this game! Walking along the street and seeing where light falls on a plant or a fence, even the footpath is an interesting exercise. I bet you feel happy when you arrive home because not only do you receive exercise but you just noticed a whole bunch of beauty in the most unexpected of places! Read my blog Why Light is Important if you would like more info about light.
5. Print your work. It's not much point practicing mindfulness if you aren't going to go through with the whole hog! I'm a huge believer in printing our everyday. A photograph shows a life journey as well as personal growth in your work, you'll begin to notice you have a style which is hugely rewarding in itself. Taking less photographs will make it less overwhelming when you make your print selection too. Make sure you select a good print company that values quality over quantity, after all you've made a lot of effort to take your photographs. Having something tangible to look over can show how becoming more mindful in your photography can improve your photographs. Not to mention the touch, feel and smell aspect. And of course the warm fuzzies you'll feel! Your prints will become your reward for the effort.
After a bit of practice you start to see differently and capture a moment rather than all the moments which can become rather exhausting! You will even start to feel happier because you'll start to notice the little things, things that you passed by will actually become more interesting. All the best with your photo journey, and thanks for reading!
If you have a family or friends event you'd like photographed, I'd love to hear from you! Please email me via the link or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Caroline is a Family Lifestyle Photographer who loves to document family stories in an emotive and creative way. She enjoys tangibly preserving stories into beautiful albums and framed or boxed artwork.