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Category: Guest Post
One Photographer’s Story of a Road Trip Without Her DSLR
Guest Post, Inspiration
One Photographer’s Story of a Road Trip Without Her DSLR

In the midst of a photographer’s busiest season, aka October, I decided to take a little road trip. My toddler, Oak, had never met my grandfather, and I got the idea to go in my head and just couldn’t shake it. In the middle of October. And I can’t even blame the drugs because I actually don’t do drugs. So, plans were made and my mom, myself, and my kid were taking a road trip from Illinois to Pennsylvania. Did I mention we were going in October?


As I was packing, panic set it. I was leaving the day after my fall mini-sessions. Roughly 2,000 RAW files were on my computer to be edited, uploaded, posted, and delivered in the next 2 weeks. I had regular sessions that needed to go to gallery. I had photos up to my eyeballs that HAD to be culled. And now this, a 5 day road trip (in the MIDDLE OF OCTOBER!) to add 500 additional photos. It was enough to make a girl drink, cry, or both.


Unlike a lot of people, I don’t have a lot of personal photos sitting on my computer collecting digital dust. I’m a printing queen, printing at least every other month. All Instagram photos automatically print into books every 60-days with Chatbooks, and all DSLR photos are edited within 24-48 hours of being taken and exported to a file called “to print.” I don’t have much organization in my life, but I sure as heck do when it comes to my prints. This is what led to my panic over the trip: I wasn’t worried about taking hundreds of pictures that I wouldn’t do anything with, I was worried about taking hundreds of pictures that I WOULD do something with. It was just too much.


So, I did something bold. I decided not to use my DSLR on the whole trip. Notice I didn’t say I wasn’t going to pack it. I initially started with that plan but then got worried a photographic emergency would pop up and I my life would be ruined if I didn’t have it. You might be wondering what this emergency might be…I can’t tell you, because I have no clue. Ultimately, however, it didn’t get used.


So here’s my arsenal of gear I took. A Holga I bought a few months ago that I never had time to play with. My iPhone, self-portrait monopod (read: selfie stick. Don’t judge.) and olloclip. And, probably the most shocking item in this collection, a disposable camera, which I have as part of a fun project with other local photographers.


I freely shot the whole trip, and it was amazing. No clunky camera and lens. No saying let me check my light. FREEDOM!! I snapped fun pictures of family I rarely see, markets in full fall swing, and random spots significant to my parents’ histories, all in a low-maintenance fashion. I uploaded my iPhone photos every night to Artifact Uprising and have a book ordered of our trip now. My scans from the Holga (which is a very weird camera to use, by the way) and the disposable camera came back last week and I absolutely adore them. No editing, no stressing, just printing. This is the good life, y’all.


And all those photos I had sitting on my computer before I left? They got delivered right on schedule. So the moral of this story? The best camera is definitely the one you have, and the best photos are the ones that are printed. Find time to document what you love friends, even when you’re busy.

Oh, and photographic emergencies might not really exist. :)

Happy shooting friends! xo