Leave the Camera Behind - Aaron Northcott

Leave the Camera Behind

‘Put your camera in its case and leave it in your room.’

It’s not the advice you’d expect from a photographer, but hear me out and it just might help.

Sometimes I get stressed. My mind gets in a muddle and I lose nearly all creativity and I see nothing that I want to point my camera at. I’m sure that this is a situation many of you can relate to . . .

It isn’t because the setting is not photo-worthy, nor down to the time of day or people walking past. It is all because of you (or me, if you prefer). Taking a photography trip, working on a full day production, or too many consecutive hours of shooting can leave you feeling frazzled and mentally drained . . . so it’s important to take regular breaks.

This is something often overlooked in photography – as it is such a creative and diverse field, photographers will often forget that even for them it’s necessary to distance yourself from time-to-time and think about other things!

'Everyone has their own way of relaxing and re-discovering their creativity.'

I like to go for a walk. A long walk that will likely take me past some new areas or places that I may not have been before. Hopefully this is not too difficult to do, especially if you’re visiting a new city or working on some travel photography.

The most important thing to remember though – is leaving your camera behind! It helps you to distance yourself from the ‘photographers mindset’ and start taking in more of your surroundings.

You’ll probably still feel just as drained at first, but as you wander you’ll begin to notice things you may have missed if always thinking in terms of composition, lighting or perspective. Even just the lightness of not having a camera around your neck or kitbag over your shoulder will make you feel more free and begin the de-stress process.

After probably several miles of wandering and taking in your surroundings, thinking about everything from the sights and smells to your plans for the rest of the trip, you’ll start to notice great opportunities for photography – moments that would make fantastic photographs and unique spots that you swear you’ll come back to shoot . . . and that is when you know you’ll have regained you creativity.

You’re not thinking about photography because you have to but instead because it’s your passion! . . . from this point there’s often a quick rush back to the hotel to pick up your gear, hoping to return in time to photograph the spots you found.

This is just my approach, and for me it works – but if you have other ways of clearing your mind and reigniting your creativity make sure you comment below!

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