I’ve been pressed for time lately. Too many things on the plate and not enough time to give every one of those tasks it’s due. What? Did you say you can’t relate? No - I didn’t think so. I am not complaining. In fact I am grateful because it’s teaching me something. It is forcing me to find new ways to make sure I still get out to do what I love most which is take photos.
What’s my solution? Multitasking and compromising. It’s a one-two punch that I never would have endorsed before. Let me give you a bit more detail - you might find my strategy could work for you.
The first is multitasking. I can hear your protests. Trust me, I recognize that when I multitask I rarely do as good a job of anything compared to when I am focused. But you know what… sometimes sacrificing perfection is not only justified but the best solution to protecting the time you need to pursue your passion. So here’s what it looks like for me - instead of making time to go for a walk every day to uphold my commitment to better health AND finding a separate time to go out and shoot daily to keep my commitment to improving my photography I multitask. I carry my camera with me on my morning walks. This has never worked for me before… until now. So what has changed?
This is where part two kicks in - I’ve made some compromises I can live with.
Finding Challenge in Monotony
My walk takes me along the same route. It’s one I like and I’m not willing to change it. So that means I am presented with the same views and subjects (mostly) everyday. I used to think this would produce boring results, but I now look at it as a challenge. I have to really be present in order not to miss the new little scenes of beauty that are there every time. And for the things that don’t change, I rationalize that getting very familiar with this landscape allows me to capture it at it’s best. And though the landscape in my neighbourhood seems mundane to me, there’s a good chance it seems exotic to someone who doesn’t see it every day.
Carrying Less Gear - Testing Creativity Not Mobility
When I used to go out shooting, I would take my entire kit; all the lenses and both camera bodies. Setting aside time to do photography is a commitment and to honour that I was not going to miss any shots because I didn’t have the right lens. But my full kit of gear is cumbersome and I knew that carrying it all on my walk would make me start to hate my walk. Which would be counter productive. So the compromise is I take one camera and one lens. Sometimes it’s just my iPhone, other times it’s my mirrorless and an 85mm or 55mm prime lens. Both are light but limiting. Which forces me to get creative. I have to use only what I have to make the photo. I’ve rationalized that this compromise and challenge may just help make me a better photographer in the end.
Embrace the Pace - Thinking Long Term
There is no way to reconcile the pace required for these two activities. They sit at opposite ends of the spectrum. Moving fast enough to raise my heart rate is incompatible with slowing down enough to explore the landscape to get a good shot. My solution has been to accept that I don’t have to have it all in the same day. Some days I will get a better work out and other days I will get better photos, the key is to remember that over time they will balance out.
I’ll admit there is nothing ideal about multitasking and compromising. But if you are like me and photography is a part of who you are and not just something that you want to do “sometimes," then finding ways to include in your life daily is essential. Why not give it a try - you may find you are pleasantly surprised by the results.