Can’t think of anything to photograph?

You know the feeling when you just can’t think of anything to take pictures of? A really good way to find meaningful stuff to shoot is to combine your photography to some other hobby that you enjoy. Or if you have an interesting life-style or job, maybe you could start documenting that? Some people who are for example into hiking, and happen to be photographers as well, take really interesting outdoors and nature photos, because they have their own thing that they like to shoot. They have a theme. Just being into photography alone, seem to produce really boring photos, with very little vision and enthusiasm in them. Photography for just photography’s sake doesn’t work as well. You need to have something to take photos of. What else you are interested in? Combine photography to that and you should have a good base for producing interesting photos.

So called street photography, without any further angle or plan behind it, seem to (imho) produce mostly pretty boring pictures by people who just walk around aimlessly, waiting something miraculous to happen while they snap a shot of it. I see very often middle aged men with their Canon DSRL’s on a “photowalk”, taking pictures of ducks in the park, because they just cannot find anything more interesting than that. That to me looks like that they are having a hard time figuring out anything to shoot, and that photography is their main hobby. Maybe photography should be their secondary hobby, that you just use to document the primary one? I think that is a really good way to produce organically interesting pictures. Let’s say you’re into kayaking. That would be a great topic for photography and if you’re enthusiastic towards paddling, the enthusiasm will be visible in the photos more than in the duck photos.

I am an outdoors person and most of my photos from the past few years are from my camping trips (I didn’t shoot film though, during those days). At some point I really really loved all sorts of outdoors hobbies (including paddling and hiking) and I took, quite passively, without even noticing, super good photos of my adventures. That was a really organic way to find subjects and an entire theme to my photography. Nowadays I’m more interested in street photography etc, which is a completely different approach compared to my previous methodology as an outdoors photographer. I know from experience that street photography style wandering is so much harder than having something else where to combine your photography. Finding single subjects is a complete lottery, but having an umbrella theme makes finding those single subjects easier.

Hiking in Lapland september 2016. Having a camera around on hiking trips is a bullet proof way for me to naturally find awesome stuff to shoot.
Brewing some coffee on a wood burning stove. Again, I was really happy to had camera with me, because I saw a really good image in this.
Long exposure testing on a camping trip.