One Sunday morning, I’m rushing to grab some snacks before the start of the weekly Ravens game. I pull into the parking lot of my neighborhood Walgreens, and much to my chagrin, I saw something worth photographing. It was a Dwarf Burning Bush (I think) with red berries dangling in a particularly fetching geometric configuration.
I sat in my car and pondered: Watch start of Ravens game or photograph the bush? Watch start of Ravens game or photograph the bush? Talk to that girl coming across the parking lot or photograph the bush.
…Oops, I got distracted. No chance with that girl. Might as well photograph that darn bush.
These images are from my 15 minutes with that bush. I grabbed, not just my camera, but also an off-camera flash. I figured another photographer may see the same bush and be too lazy to go that extra mile with the flash. Gotta stay one step ahead.
The point is this: As a photographer, you have to seize the opportunity to shoot — and when you’re done shooting, shoot some more. Taking opportunities to shoot is how you build a portfolio; it’s how you learn to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary; it’s how you learn your equipment. Ultimately, this allows you to be a more effective photographer when you find yourself on the clock shooting for a client.
Note: I am probably wrong about this being a Dwarf Burning Bush. Using my best Leonard “Bones” McCoy voice: “Damn it, Jim! I’m a photographer not a Botanist!!” If you know what this bush happens to be, please leave a comment. Inquiring minds want to know.