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Even though we photographers love to shoot, we sometimes make up excuses to avoid it. We shoot for fun, but that doesn't mean that we don't have to have some discipline to stay in the habit of shooting. It's like someone who loves to play tennis telling herself that she's too tired to play today or that she doesn't have anyone to play with when really it's just laziness. The same thing can go for photographers. You'll shoot every other day for a month, then a few more months will pass and you suddenly realize that your camera has been sitting on the shelf the whole time. What happened? Was there something preventing you from shooting, or were you just making up excuses for two months? Think twice next time you hear yourself using one of these excuses.
It's raining, I can't take my camera out there. It's snowing, I can't go shooting in that kind of weather. How many times have you used one of these excuses? Just because it's not a bright sunny day doesn't mean you can't grab your camera and go outside. You've seen photographs of people in the snow and cars driving down rainy streets. How do you think those photographers got their pictures? Shooting in less than perfect weather can produce some amazing photos because your normal scenes look completely different. Rain comes with clouds, and with clouds, diffused light. Colors are also more saturated when they're wet. Snow can turn a familiar landscape into a completely different one, and a light snowfall can create a unique atmosphere of tranquility. So grab your camera and a plastic bag or two and wander out into the rain or snow or hail (well, maybe not hail.)
Nothing to Shoot
Though this is probably the worst excuse ever, it is also one of the most common. You think, I've been up and down these streets a million times. I've used my friends as subjects more times than they've been comfortable with. Well then try something different! There are always things and people to photograph. Try meeting new people. Try going new places. Try going to the same places at different times. If you're stuck at home, look around your house for something you can shoot as a still life. Look for interesting light coming through a window or a solid-colored background to use as a backdrop for a particular object. Lay on the floor and wait for your cat or dog or ferret to do something interesting. If you're running low on inspiration, try one of the latest trending photography projects. There's no shortage of places or subjects to shoot, but don't expect them to come to you. You have to go looking for them.
Lack of Proper Equipment
Many beginning photographers complain that they don't have the gear they need to do certain things. While this may be true, they also don't need a lot of gear to do most things. You can do so much with one camera and one lens alone. If you can save the money to invest in new equipment, that's great, but
you don't need it. In fact, creativity is often inspired by one's limitations because you think more critically about what you can do with what you have. You can also sometimes create what you need. Although commercial products will usually have more functionality and better construction, you can often find things around your house (or at your local hardware store) to help you achieve your needs. Want a reflector, buy a large white poster board. Need a light stand, try looking around for some 2x4's, a broom handle, and some screws. Or better yet, have your friend hold it (that's the easiest and cheapest way.)
Not Enough Time
Time can be a legitimate excuse. Between work, school, family, and friends, you may actually not have time to shoot. Then again, some just say they don't have the time when really they do. Taking photos doesn't have to take up a lot of your precious time. Maybe you go shooting once a week or once a month, so as long as you're setting aside some time to do what you really love. And if you really love photography, then you will set time aside for it.
Image credit: photopiano / 123RF Stock Photo
Written by Spencer Seastrom