Santa Fe New Mexico Family and Children Photographer – David Moore» Blog Archive » How I learned to get out my own way and shoot more

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This is the photography blog for photographer and writer David Moore. He's based in Santa Fe, New Mexico but speaks with a funny accent.


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    November 4th, 2011

    How I learned to get out my own way and shoot more

    Why do we why find it so hard to do the things we know we should do? I don’t even mean exercising or eating the right things here – I’m just thinking about taking photographs.

    As keen photographers of whatever stripe, you’d think we’d be out the whole time firing off shot after shot, especially now there’s no immediate cost to shooting one more digital image.

    But I’ve found that unless I have a paying job, the cameras might stay in their bag from one week to the next. And the longer this goes on, the more grumpy I get.

    So I came up with a two-fold plan to counteract this. The first stage was to buy the Olympus EPL-2 (part of the PEN series) and the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens and leave them in my laptop bag, so I’d always have a camera with me.

    This stage wasn’t completely necessary, but I did leave the big lad at home more than I’d bring it, unless I was going out to shoot something specific.

    The second step was to set myself a challenge to post eight images every week to a new Tumblr site I set up, called 8 Days a Week. A photo project was born

    I thought that I’d be likely to fail if I made myself shoot every day, but I still wanted to make taking photographs into a habit, so delivering eight images every Monday seemed reasonable. That way, if there were three or four good shots from one day, and none for a couple of days, my system was flexible enough to deal with it.

    I’m into my fourth week now, and it’s amazing what a feeling of obligation can do for you, even if it’s self-imposed. Our dog comes to the office with us most days, so I grab the camera while she’s getting her lunchtime walk, and at other times too I’m looking for images in a way I wasn’t before.

    No Pressure

    Most of the time I’m not thinking about whether the images are good or not, I’m just getting them in the camera, and I’ll worry about quality later. That way, there’s no pressure on me to produce – I can just follow my nose.

    And coming up with only 8 images each week that I’ll be sharing with the world doesn’t seem that frightening.

    Often it seems I don’t have the willpower to make myself do things when my internal resistance tells me that I have to work or that there’s no point taking these stupid shots anyway.

    But I am a creature of habit, and if I can persuade myself that I’m just messing around anyway, I can sneak in some shooting before the resistance knows what’s happening. That, and it’s fun.

    You can see all three weeks’ work here, or on the Clearing the Vision Facebook page

    Do you have routines or customs that get you out shooting when you otherwise wouldn’t? Let me know in the comments section below, I’d love to hear them.


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    One Response to “How I learned to get out my own way and shoot more”

    1. Jay Says:

      I often feel like I should do a photo project, especially when I see awesome 365 Projects. I know that I’ll never keep myself to shooting every day hence no project begins. I love your idea of a certain number of pictures per week to add flexibility.

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