Did you, like me, make it a goal to use your ‘real camera’ more this year? In our last post, I mentioned that I joined a 365 project to help me use my camera more. I’m happy to say that so far, one month in, I’ve kept up with it. I’m going to share one of my secrets to success. You’re going to think I’m crazy – especially if you have little ones around.
I keep my camera on the kitchen counter.
Kyle suggested it years ago. When my kids were smaller, my camera lived on the kitchen counter. Right in the danger zone. It wasn’t doing me any good put away – I never got it out. Either I had already missed the moment or it seemed like too much hassle. Back then, I didn’t have a great camera on my phone. I missed capturing so many fun little everyday moments. Once I put my camera on the counter, I captured so much more of our everyday life. These days, my camera actually lives on the kitchen table more often than not simply because it’s easier access for where I am much of the day. Same principle, though.
Here are a few extra tips to help make keeping your camera on the counter (or table) an even bigger success for you.
- Keep your battery charged. No need to charge daily, but keep an eye on it and don’t let it go below 50% charge.
- Make sure there’s room on your memory card. Offloading your pics frequently not only helps keep them safe and helps encourage you to do something with those fun everyday pics, but it keeps space on your memory card.
- Use the right lens. I love my 135mm. It’s my favorite. But that’s a 50mm lens you see on my camera in the picture above. Why? In the heat of the moment, I often don’t have time to carefully compose or back up and get the scene I’m looking for. The 50mm (on my full frame camera) gives me the freedom to get the whole scene or go in closer when needed. If you shoot on a crop sensor camera, a 35mm would have a similar range for you.
- Dial in some general settings. I know I usually shoot around ISO 1600 indoors and I know I can usually use f4 on my 50mm and I set my shutter speed to 1/250. That’s not going to be a winner every time, but it’ll get me close. Make sure you give yourself a little wiggle room so that you can quickly bump settings up or down if need be. If I change anything when I shoot, I move the dials back to those base settings when I am finished.
Give it a try for a week and see if it helps you to use your camera more often. You won’t regret capturing more of your everyday story, I promise.