A few years ago, people taking a photo of their food before they eat it, or stopping mid-stride to take a picture of their shoes on a beautiful floor would have seemed odd. Now, in the age of the smart phone and social media (who go together like peas & carrots!) we take it as par for the course.
If you’re always consumed by jealousy when scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed, a photo walk is just the thing to help you get great pics for your own social media.
Going for a walk – anywhere – can give you great opportunities to take beautiful shots or just build a solid stock photo library.
Where do I start?
The first thing to do is think about what you want to achieve. Are you looking to improve your photography skills? Do you want to capture a sunset, or a beautiful cloudscape? Would you like to just take some interesting photos to share with your friends and followers? The answers to these questions will make the next few decisions easier.
What do I need?
First up, the most obvious thing is a camera! If you have a smart phone that takes reasonable quality photos, just use that. If you own a digital camera – particularly one that’s been gathering dust – get it out!
If you’re going to be outside, we recommend the holy trinity of accessories for strolling about in the sun; a hat, sunscreen and some water. It’s important to take care of your skin and stay hydrated!
Lastly, if you’re going to be taking photos anywhere outside of your neighbourhood, you’ll need transport. Invite a friend and share a car ride, or take advantage of public transport.
City worker tip: if you commute with a travelcard, sometimes you get free rides after a certain number of trips in a week!
Where am I going?
To determine a great place for photos, firstly think about your favourite magazines, websites, blogs or social media feeds. These are the things that interest you and therefore make a great starting point for your personal photography.
For example, if you’re a fan of A Beautiful Mess, you might want to seek out colourful walls as a backdrop for your photo. If gritty industrial and urban is your thing, head into the inner city! If you love Delicious magazine and foodie Insta accounts, seek out your local market or green grocer; or check out that new hipster cafe you’ve been meaning to go to. Or if you adore nature and landscape photography, look no further than your local park or a nearby national park with walking trails.
Your final choice will also be influenced by distance, accessibility, available time and budget.
How to take great a great photo
If you’re super- serious, Google photography tips! There is heaps of free advice out there. Buy an e-book or sign up for an online course if you’re willing to invest a bit of money.
Consider joining a photography club or Meetup group in your area. These days you don’t need a fancy DSLR and a tripod to call yourself a photographer – there are groups just for phone snappers.
Go to Instameets. Find your local Instagram community (the usually use a hashtag like #igers(your town) and see if there’s one soon. If not, why not organise your own with one or two mates? It’s a great alternative to the old “let’s meet for coffee sometime” catchup. And you can probably still have coffee anyway!
Practice. Take lots of photos. Take some more. Look at what other people are doing in the niche you like and learn from them. Don’t copy; just be inspired by the awesome work of others.
As both my mum and I are keen instagrammers, sometimes we have our own mini-instameet at Golden Hour. The neighbour’s cat came along last time and we just did a 20-minute walk down the lane to take photos of the sunset. We both got some great shots and had a great chat about everything from phone photography to life in general.
Photo walks are a great free activity and as an added bonus you get to be out in the fresh air getting some exercise. They’re also a fab alternative to your usual weekend routine. Even if you’re not a blogger or Instagram acolyte, there is a certain pleasure in capturing a good photo. Just don’t forget to back them up or – gasp – print them!
Want more ideas on what to do on the weekend? Check out this post about taking road trips!