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Photo walks are a wonderful way of connecting with like-minded people. They also keep you active and provide a brilliant reason to get out and shoot. But when it comes to helping you create better photographs, they can be limiting. Here’s why and a photography tip to show you what you can do about it.
A Photography Tip For Everyone
This series offers a photography tip for all levels of photographer. The objective is to go against the norms and offer unconventional tips to help you improve your skillset. We have already published simple, outside of the box tips, that will help find better locations for shoots and make better edits in post. Check them out!
Photography Tip For Photo Walks
First and foremost, I love photo walks. As someone who has a background in street photography, let me tell you, it can become rather lonely. So whenever an opportunity arises to hang with some like-minded people, I jump right for it.
But there’s a common issue that I notice whenever I attend such walks: people stick together. “Erm, Dan, it’s a photo walk, of course, they stick together!” Yes, I get that, but I mean they really stick together. I’ve seen photographers stand side by side, all making the same shot. One photographer says, “oh, look at that,” and the group simultaneously starts snapping.
Post photo walk, they all go to the coffee shop and guess what happens: they all have the same collection of photos. In my opinion, the post photo walk is extremely important because it’s a chance to get real-world feedback about your photographs from other photographers. Unlike social media, where you get two worded comments that teach you nothing about the image you made.
But what can you all say to each other after a photo walk if you’ve all made the same photos?
The solution to all this is simple. My photography tip is go do your own thing when attending a photo walk. Sure, meet at the beginning and say your hello’s. But when it’s time to go shoot, drift away from the pack and really get into the zone. You can still be in the same area, and there’s no doubt you will pass by the members of the walk along the way – so you won’t feel isolated. But by separating from the pack, you allow yourself to get your own photos, not a photo another member of the group spotted.
Being alone forces you to think and really puts you in the moment when creating the shot. And going alone removes unwanted distraction, something that is common when walking side by side with your buddies. After the walk, when it’s time to be social and compare, you’ll have a set of images different from others. They may all suck, but at least they’re your images, and people can critique them in better detail.
Of course, you can choose to completely ignore this photography tip and go on the photo walk for the fun of it. But if you want to improve as a photographer and get better feedback from your peers, be the lone wolf during the process of making your photos and return to the pack when it’s the right time.