One of the common problems being a designer that you face every single day is “Time Management,” don’t you? Some of them start & end up with “I don’t have time for this,” “I used to sketch or paint,” or “I used to do food photography before getting into this business/job.”
So why does it happen & why is it so common especially with designers?
If Design is about “Problem Solving” then why can’t we solve our own problems, right! Why is it so difficult for us to retain what we used to do for passion rather than just achieving goals? Moreover, you miss them when you look back.
It reminds me one of my favorite quotes by Steve Jobs.
I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
― Steve Jobs
The time is within yourself, and all you have to do is manage, believe, focus, measure, & implement.
This article is not about those who want to learn photography effects, “Photography tips and tricks” or “how to earn money using digital photography online.”
This article is part of my street photography experience while working full-time for a reputed product company in Mumbai, India.
The power of motivation
I came across with a person who loves to paint/design/write, but ended up with fashion photography. He is a professional photographer, but you won’t be able to see his photography work at home rather than his paintings. Here, paining is his passion than photography for a living.
What about designers?
Designers always busy with something, right! What do they do most of the time? Do they sketch, illustrate, discuss, or just talk about the design problems?
Are you a “Jack of All Trades, Master of None?”
That means you are good at everything. For example, you are good at sketching, paining, researching, marketing survey, digital illustration, presentation, public speaking, you can manage your designers & accounts, you can understand your customers & know how to solve it.) What if someone asks, “If you are good at these then what is left for others to do!” ☺
Well, that’s pretty common answers you hear from most of the young design graduates, and that changes over time along with priorities. It’s the priority that decides what to take first and what not to.
What is your priority in life?
The proverb “Jack of All Trades” tricks only works for a baby startup or while stepping into freelance career. Priority changes as you grow higher as a designer, photographer, illustrator, or a copywriter. For example, you are responsible for making corporate presentation for end clients. Rest everything else (like following up with cleints) falls under your second & third level of priorities. It also varies from one person to another.
But yet, life is not just about priorities
Yes! That’s true. Sometimes, you just have to break the rules and just listen to your heart because time is running out. You should travel the whole world, meet different people, taste different food, and then capture everything that you come across on the go.
Where do I fit in this scenario? I choose digital photography, blogging, social networking along with what I do for a living as my first priority. Yes, You heard me right. Rest everything falls into second & third level of priorities.
But yet, it is up to me to swap these priorities after all.
We learn new things, and forget to practice
Did I learn anything about the photography lessons? Yes, 5 weeks of photography, was part of my bachelor degree program in visual communication.
The only camera we were using by that time (2002) was the classic Nikon FM10 having manual focus 35 mm film camera. You have to adjust the aperture, focus & click subjects followed by developing the film in a dark room.
That was quite exciting by the way.
Then I came up with this common situation
The course got ended up and we occupied with new courses such as typography, color & form, publication design, etc. In fact, I didn’t have the money to afford such camera by that time and ended up with sketching. Thus, I left photography for the time being.
Internship got over. Now What? Being a designer, you always look for a better place to work with end clients rather than taking photographs on street, right!
In 2006 Jan, just after the graduation, I moved into IT Sectors under design division due to my interest level. No matter how good you are in the field of Graphic Design, the domain of “Web & User Interface Design” is completely different. You should know how to convert a web or interface design template into html/css.
I used to spend long hours after work just to read a lot of books related to web design, interface design, search engine algorithm along with the process & implementation.
The only camera I had with me was the black T9 series from Sony (Finally, I bought my first camera with my own money). And it was quite compact enough to document almost everything I could see around.
Almost 17.8 GB of my hard disk was occupied with such photographs (categorized/uncategorized), but I never shared them on air.
Suddenly & Somehow, I stopped using my camera for almost 1-2 years due to the extreme level of workload & personal issues.
It’s never too late to start over
I never realized what I missed the most because I never looked back. Moreover, it was too late when I looked back and realized.
“The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Time for me to get hold of those I left the most.
Did you face what I faced the most? If yes, let me know your story by using the comment section at the end of this page, as I love to hear them.
Reasons to quit photography?
Here are some of the reasons why you left photography
- Lack of time
- Priority changed
- Always ends up with “May be”
- Never go out
- Being lazy
Now look at some of the stupid reasons for not taking a single picture.
- Out of films (SLR)
- Ran out of battery
- Insufficient space on memory card
Don’t laugh! Like I said, it did happen to me in the past, and that doesn’t mean you can’t be a Rockstar in photography.
I thought, “How about doing photography without leaving my existing work?” In the end, it solved my purpose, and it might solve yours too. You just have to keep on trying.
“When You Say You Can’t, You Really Can!”
Why digital photography is so popular
Digital photography is growing by the majority of the people who travel most of the time, why? Because it’s compact and more user friendly as compare to any other photography cameras.
The point is you don’t need to buy an expensive camera to become a professional photographer. It’s what and how you take photos.
“All you need is a device or a camera phone to capture beautiful moments no matter what it is, and how it is.”
Welcome to the era of camera phone photography
New job & New City: Welcome to Mumbai
This article is not about how I landed up into photography rather than how it became part of my daily life being a designer. Mumbai, also known as Bollywood, is a beautiful city. Let’s talk about Mumbai, which is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India.
- Almost everyone runs after something
- Mumbai people are very hardworking
- A number of local entrepreneurs
- The city never sleeps (11 p.m. or 5 a.m.)
- It’s a city of extreme contrasts (Rich/Poor People)
- “How do you commute?” as a common question by others
- You get what you want
- Amazing food (including authentic)
Furthermore, how can I forget about the “Mumbai Local Train?” It’s the lifeline of Mumbaikars. You have to get the experience of local train if you are here in this city for a tour.
I came to this city for opportunity just like other dreamers. Almost 8 months went away just by knowing the city, its transportation services and near by localities.
However, something was missing.
“How about capturing moments (good or ugly) in Mumbai,” I realized in the end and started to act.
That is how my street photography chapter started, but wait. I didn’t mention anything about the mobile photography, did I?
Why Mobile Photography?
I bought a Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Nikon D5000 as a gift & a Sony Cybershot T Series (already mentioned before when and how I bought this). All these digital cameras are good but for different needs. For instance, I used to use Cybershot especially due to its size as mobile phones.
On the other hand, I used both Canon & Nikon for travel photography or conceptual photography respectively. You must be wondering why I stopped using these 3 digital cameras, right!
No matter how good these cameras are, I stopped using them and switched over to camera phones due to following reasons.
- I should be able to click and share photos online quickly
- Transfer photos via WiFi and sync with my computer.
- Good for photo documentation (shouldn’t say this) where big digital cameras are not allowed.
- I am out of the MegaPixel business, as I will never sell these photos for money.
- I can shoot almost anything that comes on my way.
“One should take the action now or else it will never happen.”
What do I capture the most?
Like I said, I shoot almost everything that I see on street. Therefore, you see textures, contrast, close-up shots, multi-exposure, motion, & combination of all of these as one shot via digital post processing like vintage effect in photoshop.
I love street photography, but the choice is yours.
The reason behind getting into the street photography is that you will find this everywhere. Photography is not only about taking beautiful pictures of selected places, celebrities, portraits and putting them on Facebook. You can shoot almost everything starting from shooting strange people, abandoned warehouse to street food.
Did I talk about the benefits of digital photography?
As mentioned earlier, my digital photography work is not for sale. Therefore, I won’t talk about “how to earn money via photography” via stock photography sites, but these tips will definitely help you gaining more online visibilities and credits for sure.
Create your photography library with different categories like abstract, nature, street, black & white, colors, textures, etc. and use them in your blog (as you see on this page) rather than using digital photos from other websites.
Flickr is one of the best places for showcasing your photography work. You can sign up for a free account to get started with. (Just make sure to assign Creative Common Attribution License as default, which will give you more photography credits.)
Gain more visibility and credits by sharing your photography experiments on social networking sites such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & of course on Instagram. Some of these networks have good photography communities (on Google+) and groups (on Facebook). You can interact with professional photographers and take inspiration by joining such groups/communities.
Some of the Best Mobile Photography Apps and Lenses
If you do a search on Google with the keyword “Best Camera Apps,” you will come up with more than 30 billion search results including Mobile Photography, Camera Apps for Android/Windows Phone, etc. So, skip that, and read this article best camera apps for iPhone by Allyson Kazmucha. That’s all.
Like the food we eat, the movie we watch, the font we use in design, it’s very difficult for us to say “It’s my favorite,” right! Similarly, every mobile photography app has its own features such as taking multi-shots, shutter speed control, capturing moving objects, shooting in low light conditions, etc.
ProCamera 7 photography app is one of my favorites especially for night photography, converting a live street view into a graphical image using slow shutter speed (1/8, 1/4, 1/2). It comes with more than 70 professional filters (if you love to use filters) with advanced image editing control. The best part of this mobile photography app is that you can shoot with one of the formats such as 16:9, 4:3, 3:2, 1:1, 3:1. Believe me, this is much much much better than your default camera app for sure.
My second analog camera app is Hipstamatic due to the fact that I love Lomography and Holga. The only reason I don’t want carry these plastic cameras with me due to its accessories, films & lenses. If you have nothing else carry while travelling or commuting, you can try the classic Diana F+ by Lomography Camera, and you will love it for sure. That’s why I love this Hipstamatic, the classic camera app. It feels like you are using an analog camera by changing different films, lenses (they call them Gears/HipstaPak), and flashes with/without shutter speed control.
Don’t get confused with its other apps called OGGL (in the line of instagram) & Cinamatic (taking multiple shot clips).
You will definitely love the classic Hipstamatic App more than what I have explained here only if you love analog photography like Holga.
What about the mobile camera lenses?
Camera lenses are good enough to take amazing shots on the go if you are not into mobile app centric person. You can buy one of the following camera lenses via online mobile shopping. Try searching keywords such as “lenses for apple iPhone” or “Lenses for Android Phones” on Google/Amazon.
I have used Vtec’s Telephoto Lens having 12x magnification in the past. The best part about this lense is that it comes with a high quality tripod to steady your iPhone for super clear and crisp images from a long distance. You may try this for landscape photography, street fashion photography or even for wildlife photography.
For a more enjoyable shooting experience, you should definitely try the new QX Series Cyber-shot Lens from Sony. It’s a camera that gives you 18.2 megapixel with CMOS image sensor with WIFI connectivity. You just have to use your iPhone to control its lenses, as it doesn’t use your inbuilt camera.
Check out Olloclip All In One iPhone Lens or iPro Lens System that’s available for iPhone 5/5S, iPhone 4/4S, Galaxy S4 & iPad.
Finally, It’s not always about the camera app
Such camera apps are only good for your experiments & explorations. So never rely on such apps to give you more likes (to be honest) when you upload them on Instagram, Pinterest or Flickr.
Are you still waiting for your next expensive/next generation digital camera to be delivered from Amazon?
Time is running out. Here are few lines that helped me at lot, and I am sharing these with you as well.
- Don’t follow what others are doing
- Don’t push yourself so hard if it doesn’t work, perfection takes time
- Take inspiration and try to make them better next time you capture something on the go
- Read basic photography rules & guidelines (just Google it)
- Subscribe some of the photography sites for regular updates
- Keep shooting
In the end
You’re most likely to hear this statement “I don’t have much time” when you ask someone to join yoga classes, gym, painting, music, dance, sketching or here in this case photography.
“Buying an expensive camera won’t make you a pro photographer.”
Rather than asking, “Which camera do you use,” you should always take expert’s opinion. Try to study/experiment with different cameras you have including mobile phones, SLR, digital cameras or even a plastic lomography camera. The choice is yours.
And that reminds me of another set of photography quotes you may like
“Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.” – Elliott Erwitt
“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
“The more pictures you see, the better you are as a photographer.” – Robert Mapplethorpe
“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
“Don’t pack up your camera until you’ve left the location.” – Joe McNally
Are you into photography? If yes then what all do you capture the most? If no then what’s your story? I would love to hear from you.
Check out my photographs and connect with me via Instagram.