You might be reading the title of this post and think I’m totally out of my mind, but trust me when I tell you that shooting less will change you and your photography.
I originally learned how to shoot on film and film can be hard on the pocket book. The rolls are expensive and developing them is even worse. I learned to be patient and wait for the shot because there was nothing worse than spending all my money to develop an entire roll of basically the same image.
When I bought my first DSLR, I started slipping and began to overshoot because… I could. It didn’t cost me anything extra except for my time. Then I suddenly didn’t have enough hours in the day for everything between two kids, my husband and a business. I had to reevaluate my approach after I got sick of culling through hundreds of images to get a handful of keepers.
Here are five reasons to stop overshooting today:
If you’re constantly behind the camera, you won’t be able to fully enjoy the experience. For example, we recently went to Disney World and I took 54 shots and kept 40. From start to finish, it took about 10 minutes to cull and edit, but the most important thing was that I wasn’t behind my camera all day. I was enjoying the Disney World experience with my family.
When you start focusing on the foundation, the rest comes naturally. Focus on the fun first.
Read more – 5 Secrets to Making Photography Fun
- No.02It Will Shift Your Outlook
Whenever my husband and I can tell that the other is getting frazzled over something silly we like to say, “It’s all about expectation management.” Of course we want our children to be tidy, the laundry to be put away and home cooked meals daily, but we know that it won’t always happen and that’s okay.
Expectations of yourself and those you’re shooting should be about the experience if you’re just shooting for fun. If I’m working with my children I always remind myself to get one shot for me, one shot for them and one candid. If I get more, I’m ecstatic. If I don’t, then so be it.
When I stopped putting pressure on them to help give me the shot I envisioned, I started getting those shots more frequently. It’s funny how that happens.
- No.03Improve Your Skill
If you limit how many shots you can take, you’re far more likely to make sure those shots are perfect before you take them. When I stopped taking “test shots”, I started noticing that I was a lot more intentional about making sure my settings were accurate to begin with.
One simple way you can push yourself is by setting limits with your personal projects. For example, try taking only one image per day for your 365 project instead of a handful and picking the best.
If you still find yourself overshooting, try using a really tiny memory card (think MB not GB) while still shooting in RAW.
- No.04Increase Creativity
There is something almost mindless about continuing to press the shutter when it’s practically the same image. I understand the desire to “get the shot” and running around to get different angles, but the shot will come if you wait for it.
Try planning an image before taking the shot. Take in your surroundings, notice the light, envision the framing, composition, etc. Then adjust your settings and wait.
- No.05Less time editing
This goes along with the previous two steps. If you shoot with intention and limit your shots, your images are more likely to be where you want them before you edit. This cuts down culling and editing time significantly.
If you find yourself stuck behind your camera and spending hours culling, try to intentionally shoot less. If all else fails, get a film camera and ask yourself if each frame is worth the cost it takes to develop it.
Once you start harnessing the power of shooting less for your personal work, you can start carrying it over to your business. Shooting with intention will change you and your imagery for the better.