Finding Focus During the Dog Days of Summer

The official start of summer is mere weeks away.  Schools are drawing to a close.  Seniors are getting ready to graduate, and with that goes the majority of this photographer's work!  

High School athletics have kept me pretty busy these last few months since I started freelancing for Owings Mills Patch, but now that the 4th quarter has ended, I find myself without a lot of inspiration or events to cover.  Sure, there are still plenty of opportunities for Viewfinder articles, but it can be pretty darn difficult to find the motivation to wander outside, away from the air conditioning, and snap photos of the sights and sites of Owings Mills.

How do I find the inspiration to keep shooting?  How can YOU make the best of the summer months?

  • Take your camera with you, everywhere you go.  This seems like a no-brainer, right?  Chances are pretty good that you're not going to leave the house without purpose this summer, so having your camera with you at all times ensures that you'll be prepared to capture any moment that might surprise you during your endeavors. 
  • Branching off of #1, Don't be afraid to take a few risks.  Recently, we (my fiancee and I) took a trip out on a boat.  Tiny little boat, tons and tons of Chesapeake Bay, and a large sum of monies' worth of camera equipment.  Seems like a recipe for disaster, right?  With the proper precautions, and a little bit of spatial awareness, these points become moot, and allow for some great shots in places that wouldn't normally warrant photography. 




  • Get out of your comfort zone.  Personally, I prefer sports photography and people photography.  In Owings Mills, there isn't a lot of the first type during the summer, and I'm too busy planning my own wedding to worry about other people's engagement photos.  No Seniors anymore, means no more Senior Portraits and I just can't seem to convince people that it's a great idea to hire me AND take me along with them to be their personal vacation photographer.  Shucks.  What this means, is that I have to think outside of the box and be willing to take photos of things I wouldn't normally shoot.  The summer provides a lot more hours worth of light, and can leave us with some absolutely breath-taking sunsets.  Landscape photography also LENS itself to some excellent HDR shots which seem to be all the rage these days.  Getting out of your comfort zone not only helps you keep that shutter finger busy, but it also expands your range and experience, which always helps to improve your technique!

While, at first, I worried greatly about keeping the rust off of my camera this summer, after reviewing this list I don't think I'll have any problems snapping shot after shot.  What are some of the things YOU do to keep motivated to make great photos during the lull periods?  Feel free to share in the comments below, and keep on snapping!