How I shoot with intent: Setting some personal goals

If you follow my blog, you know I’m always stressing how important it is to know what it is your trying to show before you start shooting. This practice is called shooting with intent. You may ask yourself, “Why is that so important?” For me, it motivates ambition and sparks creativity. Along with allowing your creative eye to be your guide. To shoot with intent means you consider many factors before creating an image. Such as what camera and lense to use, where are the edges of your shot, what auto focus point to use, just to name a few. Putting thought into your photography and not hoping that you’ll “Get lucky” and somehow magically capture the images you want. For me, setting some goals for myself insures I shoot with intent. Let’s talk about goals and how to come up with some of your own.

The only wrong way to come up with goals is to not to have any. It could be as simple as looking for some interesting light or trying some different settings. When it comes to making goals for yourself, you want to state what it is you wish to accomplish, how long you’re giving yourself to do them and ideas on how to meet them. Keep in mind, you’re not writing an essay; simple one liners will do fine. You can keep them on your phone, in a notebook, on the back of a business card, somewhere to keep track of them. And bring them with you every time you venture out. I keep mine on my phone, so I know they’re always with me and I can add to and or edit them wherever I go.

It’s important to be realistic with yourself when making them and that they’re within reach of your skill set. Something that if you push yourself just a bit, you’ll be able to accomplish it. It’s a good idea to set deadlines for them as well. A day, a weekend, a month or a year. Some kind of time frame so you don’t get lazy and procrastinate. The idea is to challenge and expand your creativity, not to overload yourself. If you don’t meet your goals or a deadline passes you by, don’t be hard on yourself. Reset them and try again later. Just don’t give up on them. Follow the links below to see examples of my shooting with intent.

In each instance, I had a clear target to aim for. Some took me longer than others to check off my list, but they kept me focused and actively seeking the images I wanted. It also helped me rediscover my excitement about photography that had been slowly eroding away from doing the same unstimulating routine over and over again. Shooting with intent also help me define my growing style of photography. And after meeting each goal, I have a greater level of satisfaction and fulfillment with my photos. Because of that, I always have a list of ongoing goals to insure I’m shooting with purpose. Here are a few of them.

  • Finding a unique image
  • Interesting light and shadows
  • Sense of speed
  • Sense of aesthetics
  • Strong and interesting composition

Adding some type of goals to your routine can be a healthy challenge to motivate your drive and grow your creativity. Something to guide your creative journey through photography and to start to shoot with purpose. I hope this post shed some light on shooting with intent along with encouraged you to set some goals for you and your photography.

Stay safe and keep busy,

Steven

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The Right Massage

I feel it’s important to be aware of what message we are sharing on social media. We all watched spring come and go through our windows. Now summer is in full swing, the Force is strong with Mother Nature with her seductive call to venture out and enjoy the summer. Unfortunately, United States is now well over 4 million cases of COVID-19 and has over 150,000 deaths. And the last thing health care workers want to hear is “I saw my friends and family online at a cookout, party, weekend getaway and they were not wearing a mask or social distancing”. I’m not saying don’t go out. That’s your decision. But if you do, mask up, be safe and share those images of you doing so. Photos where no one is wearing masks and not practicing social distancing is misleading and could lead to an unhealthy or dangerous situation. I have a tiny following but know some of you who have hundreds if not thousands of followers. It’s too easy to send the wrong message to others in these uncertain times. Until there’s a working and readily available vaccine, we all must do everything we can to stay safe and healthy. If you’re struggling with  quarantine, check out this post, Bored and in Lockdown? How to keep yourself occupied.

IMG_6291
In my quarantine paradise

 

Mask up, stay safe and keep busy!

Steven

If you like what you see and read here, click the “Follow” and “Like” button. Along with feel free to leave a reply below.

Banners of Change

During a break from my quarantine activities, I decided to see what was going on in the world. Since the start of my time in lockdown, I limit how much news I consume on a daily basis. Enough to stay informed but not too much to get mentally and emotionally overwhelmed. And it’s a struggle to find that balance with the state of the world nowadays. I did stumble upon something that made me feel good and hopefully a sign of positive change. Southfield the city I live in, put up “Black Lives Matter” along with “Southfield Strong” banners to show the city’s support and solidarity. Seeing these banners gives me hope that this movement will continue to bring positive change toward ending police brutality and racial injustice. We still have a long way to go and a lot of hard work to do.

BLM banner

 

Stay safe and keep busy,

Steven

If you like what you see and read here, click the “Follow” and “Like” button. Along with feel free to leave a reply below.

Bored and in Lock-down? How to keep yourself occupied

Run out of entertaining shows and movies on Netflix and Hulu? Sick of scrolling through the same crap on Instagram and Tik tok? Or have you had your fill of the depressing news from the media? It’s time to get up and do something that could help occupy yourself and get you through these unprecedented and troubling times. Here’s a few things I have been practicing to keep myself busy while staying at home.

  • Create some kind of routine for yourself. Wake up, take care of yourself, work from home, workout. whatever it takes. Set aside time to do certain activities. An hour to reading, a half an hour to workout, 45 minutes to clean. Just wake up, get and stay active. Go to bed and do it again tomorrow
  • Reduce your time on social media and watching the news. To save your precious mental health, ration the time you spend on them. Yes, by all means stay informed but don’t let your appetite for information start to disturb your peace and calm.
  • This is a great opportunity to work on your products around your house or apartment. Got a leaky faucet, a door that squeaks or any home repair that needs to get done or finish, now is the time to get after it!
  • Reach out to family, friends, loved ones and coworkers. We are all social beings and especially during this global pandemic, we need to talk to our families and friends. To hear those recycled bad jokes, to remain your mom that your dad is not crazy! Do it for them, you’ll hear the appreciation in their voice.
  • Cook your favorite meals. Banana pancakes for breakfast, grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup for lunch, throw some rib eyes on the grill for dinner. Why not?! Along with your “Quarantine food”, try cooking one of your favorite meals. If you don’t know how, YouTube is your know it all friend! And if you don’t have the supplies you need, the next time you go to the grocery store, practice social distancing along with protecting yourself. And pick up the things you need for your favorite meals.

food

  • Listen to all those podcasts and audio books you have been wanting to get to. Like the song says, “Time is on my side“. Get your tasty beverage, grab those ear buds or that busted ass pair of headphones you got and start listening. Heck, you might even learn something new. Or dare I say it, laugh out loud.
  • Start a journal. “Day 6 in lock down. This morning after my lame ass breakfast, I stumbled across an enlightening and amazing blog today that help me occupy my time. Today seemed to fly by with all the activities I did.” When we get through this, and we will. Looking back and reading our quarantine journals could be entertaining.
  • Rediscover your lost and forgotten hobbies. There is no time like the present to douse that old withering fire with a bunch of fresh gasoline. Get back into whatever you love to do! Unpack that project you got hidden in the bottom of your closet. If all you have are outdoor hobbies, maybe it’s time to unearth something new.

Hobby Time

  • Never stop learning! Sign up for online classes. There are so many to choose from. Some are paid but if you don’t have the coin, I get it. There are plenty of excellent educational channels on YouTube.
  • Working out indoors. “Get your sweat on!” You can still get huge and ripped. There are countless indoor workouts you can do. If you live in an apartment, be considerate of your neighbors.
  • Redecorate your house or apartment. It is Springtime. And a change in season could also be a refreshing change in your living quarters (Star Trek reference). Switch up old artwork on your walls, maybe rearrange your furniture. Heck maybe go down the rabbit hole looking for ideas online. I’m sure your find something interesting.
  • Update your Resume and Portfolio. This could be an excellent time to dust off that tired resume and stale portfolio of yours. Lord knows I do. There is a shit ton of helpful and useful information online. Be brave, you might just find your dream job.
  • Play online games with friends. There is nothing like talking smack with your friends while gaming. It’s stupid fun! Doesn’t matter if you’re on PC, console or even on your mobile device. Just don’t be a Leroy Jenkins!

Game On

Whatever you do, don’t waste this time being unproductive or even worse, full of worry and anxiety. Feel free to share this with others. Stay safe and busy!

Until next post,

Steven