I know it's easy to get bogged down in all the different aspects of this industry. When is the last time that you took your camera and just shot some things with little-to-no plan just because you could?
All of the business practices, technical aspects, and social media use can really get pretty overwhelming when you originally just wanted to take photos. I like to think that generally speaking, somewhere along the line (most likely the beginning), we started out just genuinely enjoying taking photos, doing it with little to no plan, just winging it because the scenery was beautiful or the act of using a camera was a relaxing one. Have you done anything like that lately?
Recently, I was planning on an early morning sunrise shoot and driving down to a state park for some fall colors by a lakeside. The drive down there was beautiful: a modest fog in every direction, cool, but not too cold. When I got down to the park, the gates were still closed, and it wasn't going to be open for another hour (my mistake for not knowing that in advance). I figured I'd just keep driving down the road and kill some time; I wasn't planning on shooting anything but thought I'd just enjoy the drive a bit more.
A few miles down the road, I reached a clearing and thought I'd pull over on the roadside and just take in the morning fog. After a few minutes, I thought to myself: “well, since I have my camera, I may as well just play around and see what happens.” I had no real plan or intention at this point and was just taking images for the sake of it. By then, the sun has started to rise over the ridge in the distance and was lighting up the fog in the most beautiful way. I was totally consumed shooting the fog and the light, still just enjoying the act of shooting rather than trying to plan anything specific. I was just operating by feeling at this point and really loving it.
What's my point, though? My point is that it's okay to not have a plan and it's okay to just take pictures because you can or just because you're there. If you enjoy the act of shooting the images, it's okay if you don't come away with any amazing images (though you certainly might). I ended up with some beautiful fall morning images by just being somewhere and by just shooting because I was there. My original plan for the state park ended up being lackluster by comparison. When is the last time that you shot something just for the sake of it?