Gone are the days when I had endless time for fun activities. As I’ve grown older and gained more responsibilities my time is no longer all my own. I have a full-time job, and when I’m not at work there’s cooking, housework and all that stuff. The same is true for most people, yet there are plenty of us that still manage to make time for our favourite hobby of putting plastic in front of cameras.

Weekends are still when I get to do most of my photography. I normally have the freedom to dedicate a chunk of time to experimenting with new techniques or working on a project,
but I don’t postpone all of my photography until the end of the week. I have had to optimise my photographic process to fit into my limited weekday time.

I’m lucky enough to have a room in the house dedicated to photography so I can leave lightstands, tripods and half-finished sets lying around. This is super-handy when I want to take a quick shot, or try out an idea that’s popped into my head. I can get a simply lit shot done in a couple of minutes.

I also leave my camera set up ready to shoot. I always have spare batteries charged (with extra batteries for flashes), I leave my most commonly used lens attached, and make sure the camera is easily accessible and not packed away in a bag. I even have a separate box of commonly used LEGO mini figures so that I can grab a Stormtrooper quickly if I need one!

It probably sounds like I go way overboard with the preparation, but this workflow has built up over time bit by bit. I used to have all of my lights, stands and umbrellas stored away neatly in a cupboard, my cameras and lenses all packed safely in padded bags and cases, it was a nightmare to try and shoot anything quickly! So much so that I wouldn’t even try half the time.

These days I just open a cupboard and grab a camera ready to shoot. My tools might get knocked around a bit more than they did before, but they are just that, tools, I’m not precious about my cameras and lenses. Removing the obstacles to taking photographs has been very beneficial to me, and I shoot more because of it.

With the long summer days upon us in this hemisphere it’s nice to be able to come home in the beautiful fading evening light and know that, should the mood take me, I’ll be able to grab a shot before the light disappears.

So how do you make the time?


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Arby - Legogirl
9 years ago

aha yes how I relate to that so well. Time is very precious for me too at the moment, but I don’t have the luxury sadly of a dedicated space. I have to try and fit mine around family life plus a partner who isn’t quite in tune with the whole concept, so it’s easier to try and get my shots set up and done before they come home. Sadly at the moment most weekends are taken up with ‘life’ stuff too. But with the summer looming I’m hopign to get some precious photography time back

9 years ago

I may not have a dedicated studio set up, but I always have a clean SD card, fresh battery and bin of favorite mini figures ready to go at a moments notice. You never know when an adventure looms on the horizon.

Nice post Mike!

9 years ago

I am also aware of time constraints. I was into landscape photography before marriage and kids. Now that my boy is 6 and he has got a love of lego, I have found my childhood love of lego and can get to combine it with photography. Need to clean out spare room and set up my studio so I can do at moments notice when I have a spare few minutes.

9 years ago

Lucky you- no separate space for me either. Maybe that’s just a poor excuse;-) As I have to find my space here and there I always have some Lego with me and a rough idea of a set-up so when time and place are feeling right I’m shooting. (a room of my own is surely on my wish list)

Arby - Legogirl
9 years ago

Most definitely I have a bag full of regular minifigs and ones I know I want to shoot with but depends if find the right location whilst out and about, so they live in my camera bag. I even have one minifig that I found whilst out caching that’s still in my coat pocket. He has a role to play in a forthcoming shot when I have the time

9 years ago

I feel pretty lucky that my partner is an avid toy photographer and collector and that we have multiple places around our house dedicated to photographing or displaying toys. The grandiose LEGO Tower of Orthanc lived on our dining table for about a year, and crowds of mini figures keep us company in our kitchen! Camera gear is kept relatively handy, so whenever we have an idea we want to shoot, we can just grab a camera, grab a minifig from the kitchen counter, and either setup a shot in the light box in the spare room or take it… Read more »

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