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?