4 Tips for a Memorable Photo Walk Experience
Have you ever taken a walk somewhere, saw a beautiful scene, and wished you could be with other photographers to capture that beautiful moment from every angle? That’s the inspiration for going on a photo walk and searching for your “National Geographic” moments instead of accidentally finding them.
While the primary purpose of a photo walk is to take pictures, it’s so much more! It’s a fun, social event where novice photographers can pick up loads of new perspectives, ideas, and techniques from experienced photographers. You will be amazed at what others see through their lenses and how different their perspectives can be.
Photo walks will dramatically improve your photography and creativity if you do a little planning for the day. You’ll be ready to take those once-in-a-lifetime shots.
How to Do A Photo Walk Right
Think of it as a mini vacation. You must prepare ahead of time to get the most out of your walk, and you need to do it safely. Here are four professional tips to help you maximize your next photo walk.
1. Walk and Capture with Other Photographers
Like good coffee and croissants, a photo walk should be shared to experience maximum enjoyment. The walk doesn’t need to be a formal or highly structured event. You or the group need only decide on a place and time. Let events unfold organically.
You’ll be walking and sitting to capture the right moments. It’s nice to have like-minded companions to help you discover scenes you may otherwise miss.
Also, have a plan for what you want to capture. Knowing whether you want to photograph landscapes, cityscapes, or people will help you find the best time and place for your walk.
2. Plan for a Comfortable Day
Since you are going to be outside most of the time, dress for the weather and wear your most comfortable walking shoes.
Being comfortable also means carrying the least amount of equipment possible. One camera body, one lens, an extra battery and memory cards should be plenty for the day — the lighter and simpler, the better.
Invest in a comfortable cross-body camera strap to keep your hands free. Put only some cash and your keys in your front pocket. Don’t take your wallet or purse if possible, although a lightweight camera backpack is always useful.
Some people find hats and sunglasses a hindrance. You’ll need to decide for yourself if they will be useful to you. Regardless, don’t forget to slather on plenty of sunblock, bug repellant and take some water with you.
3. Always Leave Your Camera on and Bracket Your Shots
You never know when the perfect photo opportunity will present itself. Be prepared by leaving your camera on and set up your camera to bracket your shots. Bracketing is especially crucial for new to intermediate photographers who don’t yet have the experience with light metering or setting up their camera for various lighting scenarios. If your camera allows for bracketing, it will snap three photos in quick succession at different aperture settings. You’re bound to get at least one perfect exposure.
4. Be Alert, Be Safe
Keeping your head up for the right shot is good, but you need to be aware of all your surroundings. There are plenty of tripping hazards, so don’t walk while you’re peering through the viewfinder.
Be aware of the neighborhood, traffic, and people around you. Not everyone wants their picture taken. Be respectful and mindful.
If you’re going to photograph people, in the U.S. or another country, check with a professional photography organization before you go. Take a look at the “Know-Your-Rights-Photographers” article for valuable information. You can access it at www.aclu.org/free-speech/know-your-rights-photographers.
Immortalize Your Walk with a Custom Photo Book
One of the best parts of any photo walk is sharing the photographs each photographer took that day. Some people use social media channels for quick access. However, to genuinely enjoy your pictures for a lifetime, invest in a custom photo book from Classic Memories.
Most groups can come up with at least 50 memorable photos that are “keepers.” We’ll help you organize them by the photographer or subject and lay them out in sequence. A photo book makes a terrific gift and looks great in any office, or on your coffee table. Get in touch with us about creating a custom photo book of your journey.
If you haven’t done so, join a local photo walk group. There is safety, and camaraderie, in numbers. Plus, it’s just more enjoyable. You’ll learn a lot too, so get out there and keep snapping!