Have you ever taken a Snapshot Escape? Where you set aside some time to grab just your camera and a cookie (the cookie is very important – see Tip #3) and simply go out to explore the place where you are and take a few pictures. No agenda. No goal. NO GPS!
Your job is only to take pictures of what moves you emotionally during your wander. If you want a picture of a leaf that reminds you how much you love fall, take it. See that happy dog playing on the beach? Snap up a shot of the smile to remember later. It’s Travel Photography at it’s most fun!
Here are a few tips to make your Snapshot Escape a success…
1. Listen with your eyes and see with your ears. Taste the lushness of the forest cedars and inhale the sweetness of a mouthful of wild blackberries in the field. Be a kid again. Make your camera an extension of those senses. If you feel it, snap it.
2. Don’t over plan. Let your feet decide the route, not your brain. All you have to do is avoid getting hit by buses or stampeded by angry cows (see Tip #4).
3. Grab a cookie before you go. A bottle of water and sandwich are also nice to put in your backpack as well. Because invariably once you either find the perfect bench to people-watch on or realize you’ve wandered three miles down the country road – you’ll be hungry. It’s better to just be prepared!
4. Expect the unexpected. On my previous snapshot escapes, I was rained on (pack rain gear!), tangled in blackberry brambles (wear sensible shoes!), and mooed at in a very unfriendly way by an enormous cow all I was doing was trying to take a picture of her cute baby calf (practice quickly dodging cow piles!).
5. Recharge your batteries. This is meant in both a physical and emotional sense. While it’s never fun to realize your camera batteries are dead when you catch a perfect shot of the sun warming grapes in Tuscany, it’s also important to take care of the internal batteries we all have. While you’re capturing photos on your walk, you’ll often find you’ll recapture some of the inner peace and joy that sometimes can get lost along the way.
So now what do you do with the pictures? Whatever you want! I have a file just of my escapes…Dublin, Tuscany, Singapore, New Zealand – the pics aren’t always great, but occasionally I’ll get a gem. It’s more for the pure joy of taking pictures and learning more about myself as I do it. Photo Therapy might be a good way to describe it.
Your challenge is to take your very own Snapshot Escape – just your camera and a cookie. If you’d like, tell us how it went. It’s a great way to get to know a place whether you’re vacationing, housesitting, or just to reacquaint yourself with your own neighborhood. Be prepared to smile and say “Hi!” to those you pass along the way – you’ll confuse the heck out of them.