Ways I Found to Shoot More Photos

I'm not a super prolific shooter. I average a roll a week and I have bursts where I shoot three to four rolls a day. But I always aim for at least one to keep a routine and continue a habit. I used to find myself needing a lot of things to be right to shoot but the more I get out there the less I try to bring and expect.

Recent walk in December. Parking lot near the art supply store.

Recent walk in December. Parking lot near the art supply store.

Set a time

I have a way easier time shooting in a new environment and exploring than staying in my neighborhood and finding different angles on similar scenes. I shoot a roll of film on Sunday or Saturday when I can drive off and go somewhere new. The routine is simple, I drive around find a spot I like and get out and walk around for an hour or so. I'll go for some really common themes I always chase and some motifs I'm big on (painted poles, messy corners and offbeat colors). Once done I'll walk back to my car and drop off the film. I used to think it was a waste of time but it's become just another way of walking and looking at the world.

Ol’ trusty

Ol’ trusty

Make a bug out bag

Having a camera in mind before you walk out the door is a huge deal to me. A lot of time we can get stuck in experimentation and gear. Last year the camera I ended up using the most was the Canon GIII QL 17. I had lusted for a Leica for years and then put it on the shelf for the majority of 2018 in favor of a pretty affordable camera. Why?

It's easy to use and load. Lens sharpness is probably not on the Leica level but I'm also never afraid to drop it or have it banged around. I grab a light meter, a roll of film I'm testing and get out. And every damn time I go I'm having the same thoughts you have too. This is silly and I should be doing something else, and how in the hell is this going to work out. Somehow it always does and I get a few shots I'm really happy about. I'm realizing the act of shooting, even if you're not motivated can lead to great images.


Somebody souped their film and didn’t tell the store. :(

Somebody souped their film and didn’t tell the store. :(

Accept the duds

Making art for me now is about finding personal growth and enjoying the process. And to get that growth you have to live with some pretty terrible rolls and some shots you just miss. The act of always shooting and being ready has yielded more great images than any other thing I have ever done.

So I try not to dwell too much on the little failures. That perfect shot of your siblings was ruined by a passerby, happens. The time you accidentally opened the back of the camera when the roll wasn't rewound, not an isolated thing. These blunders come with shooting and the more you shoot the more blunders you'll encounter. But you'll make a ton of images too because you didn't let the mistakes stop your practice. And this change in mindset allowed me to just be a bit looser and happier with all the images I take.

What things do you do to shoot more? Are there games you play or routines you found that work? If so put them in the comments.