Where’s Your Camera? A Pep Talk for Photographers

By Rob Byron, Shutterstock Submitter

“I’m sorry to bother you, but my wife and I couldn’t help but notice that you are taking pictures of your dinner. Are you a chef or something?”

Have you ever been in a restaurant and had someone ask you that question?

If no, then why not?

If you aren’t taking your camera with you everywhere you go, then you are most certainly missing out on great photo opportunities. Why not take it and use it everywhere? The key, by the way, is to use the camera — not just take it with you. Bring it with you and use it so often that the camera becomes an extension of you.

Soon it will feel strange when you are without your beloved sidekick. Do you ever think you’re running out of picture ideas? When you always have your camera by your side, ideas are all around. Driving by the fire or police station? Why not stop in and take a few pictures? Are you taking the kids to the carnival this year? How about the park? A camera is a “must have” in these situations. Have you taken your camera to the office yet? Co-workers might just make good models. Need something to keep you occupied at the Laundromat? How about when you get your oil changed? Don’t forget to take along a few model releases in case your mechanic doesn’t have one of his own.

Not all was lost. This image was taken after the demolition.

Always remember that the right time to take that great picture is now. If you wait until later, the lighting will surely be different and waiting until tomorrow easily turns into never.

There used to be an old barn about 100 feet from my house. While exploring the ancient building with a neighbor, I discovered a huge wasp nest that had long been abandoned. The late afternoon sun shone through a crack in the aging wall and wonderfully illuminated the nest and the rugged wood where it attached.

First of all, I should have had my camera with me. Because I didn’t, I should have immediately walked to my house to retrieve it. Instead I thought, “That old barn will always be there. I can shoot that picture anytime.”

Two weeks later I looked to see a bulldozer plowing through the antique building.

The moral of the story is this: if you see a great subject, take the picture then. A few minutes out of your busy schedule won’t matter much in the long run and the rewards of the perfect image will last forever.

So the next time you’re in a restaurant, don’t be surprised if someone stops by your table to ask why you are taking pictures of your meal. It’s only natural that people ask, especially since you no longer leave your house without a camera.