Taking photos is a lifestyle

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Last week was Ali Edwards’s yearly Week in the Lifeā„¢ project. As of right now I have NO idea how many photos I took, but I’m SURE it was more than I had taken the previous week.

And, ironically, in the middle of the week one of my online friends sent me a message about when was I going to go explore Austin more because she wanted to see my photos of the city!

Ha! Guess I’m kind of known for this. ….

I have made photography and capturing everyday images part of my lifestyle for something like twenty years.

empty apartmentBecause really … taking as many photos as I do is a lifestyle.

Being able to recognize what visual stories should be (or can be) documented is a skill and a habit and something I’ve had to develop.

How many people do you know that are going to take a photo from the backseat of the car … to help tell the story of taking a ‘driving tour’ while visiting a location? I would guess virtually nobody outside of this scrapbooking community.

And yet, I didn’t think twice about it. Because taking photos is part of my every day life.

view from the backseat

If you’ve been trying to develop the habit of taking more photos and documenting more of your life … here are some of my favorite tips!

How to maximize your photo-taking lifestyle:

Have a camera on you at all times

If you don’t have a decent camera as part of your cell phone… I feel you. I didn’t until about 6 months ago (I had an old-hand-me-down phone with a severely scratched lens). The total and complete change in my memory keeping habits has absolutely made the extra cost of getting a new phone worth it.

Plus! I actually take my big dSLR camera with me all over too! I deliberately make sure that I buy purses large enough to hold that camera.

Having a camera handy is a MUST for building photo-taking as a lifestyle.

White House selfie

This is me leaving the White House. We went on a self-guided tour, so once you’re out this door you’re done. The perfect transition moment for a selfie.

Recognize transitions

Transition points are the perfect thing to take photos of. Anything from transitioning to a new job to transitioning through a doorway to walk into a new room.

Anytime SOMETHING changes, that’s the time to record the story.

Set an alarm if you need to

Anything you need to remind you to just take a second and look around and identify what story is happening at that moment that you want to record.

If you’re not taking any photos at all, just start with once a day. iPhones are miracles in that you can set an alarm and tell it to go off daily without having to think about it.

If not an ACTUAL alarm, set yourself a simple goal. Take a selfie every day. Take photos of your meals. Take 1 photo each day of your workspace.

Not all of these photos will be good or interesting, but creating the habit is the goal.

Get in the habit of SEEING

Knowing what you want to take photos of is just a habit and instinct to develop. Just … try.

Follow some Instagrammers that regularly post everyday photos. You’ll get a feel for the kinds of things that make good photo subjects, other than just your kid playing basketball or your family standing in front of Niagra Falls.

I recommend Ali Edwards, Megan Anderson and Elise Blaha Cripe to start with. And me :)

Have a plan for what you will do with your photos

Please don’t just leave hundreds of photos on your phone. Please. I’m not saying you need to create a giant Blurb book of your year, but at least have some kind of plan for reviewing your photos, backing them up, printing them out, and (0r) appreciating them in some way.

Start an Instagram account. Set a weekly date to review what photos you’ve taken. Be OK deleting some! Show off the images you love.

Taking photos is a lifestyle … Document your life through your camera. Tell your story. Everyone’s level of documenting is different, but forming the habit is the key.

Your turn! This week, get out your camera! Practice seeing your REAL LIFE all around you and record some stories!

The more you do it, the more it becomes a habit. And the more it becomes a habit the more irreplaceable moments you are able to document.

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