Sacrifice: To Create Better Photos You Must Give The Time

As I sat here in front of the computer trying to find words that would express my state of mind as of late, I kept laughing at what was showing up on my screen. The topic is one which at its face sounds, well, kind of harsh or ominous. Sacrifice…I kept envisioning a stone temple with a sullen Mayan tribe person being led up the stairs to their doom. Hahaha…Yeah, the word sacrifice can be scary.

But I of course am not talking about something quite so dramatic here. Heck, in this day and age, for most people in a first world country, sacrifice might mean not getting your latte in the morning or having your Amazon Prime delivery arrive a day late.

What I am talking about though is how the act of creation comes with a price. It is a realization that has been striking a chord with me lately as I try to make the necessary adjustments in my life to accommodate shooting.

Time: we are blessed with not enough time are we? I work a job in marketing that requires 40hrs a week in an office, plus 90 minutes a day for commuting. So I must make a sacrifice to shoot during the week. I wake up extra early so I can leave for work early enough to allow time to stop and shoot along the way if I see something. My sacrifice is sleep.

©2017 Jamie A. MacDonald

I stop on my way home to shoot. My sacrifice is starting dinner late. Well, ok, so the whole family has to suffer when I choose this option so the sacrifice is felt by all.

©2017 Jamie A. MacDonald

Storm chasing? My sacrifice is the cost of fuel to chase the weather, and maybe some wear and tear on my vehicle.

©2012 Jamie A. MacDonald

Shooting star trails or aurora? I sacrifice the warmth of my bed as I endure the cold and no sleep.

©2016 Jamie A. MacDonald

But all this “sacrifice” is what makes my appreciation for what I do greater. It makes me want to produce better and better images. And most of all, for me, it has become a way to greater appreciate the little time I do get to go shooting.

So as I mentioned in my last article about taking in all of the sensations of the shooting experience I also now factor in the emotions tied to my acknowledgement of having to give something up for this photographic moment to exist.

I no longer take for granted my shooting experiences, I put my sense of appreciation into each press of the shutter button and try to convey that to my viewers.

The next time you are out shooting, think to yourself, “what personal sacrifice is going into this shot? Can my image convey the appreciation for that sacrifice?”

For me this realization has changed the world around me. Can it do the same for you?

1: Witness to fire (E-M1 MkII + mZuiko 7-14mm)
2: Rising Color (E-M1 MkII + mZuiko 7-14mm + Nisi Reverse Grad ND)
3: Desolation Road (E-M1 MkII + mZuiko 12-40mm)
4: Spared (E-M5 + Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye)
5: Montague GlowsII (E-M5 MkII + mZuiko 7-14mm)

Jamie MacDonald is an Olympus Visionary  you can check out Jamie’s website and also be sure to check him out on Instagram.

Jamie MacDonald

Through my photography, I have been fortunate enough to have had my work featured in ad campaigns for magazines such as Popular Photography, Digital Photo Magazine, Esquire, Outdoor Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Popular Science, and many more in addition to being used in several guide books by Rocky Nook.