Shooting Your Own Backyard

Sometimes from lack of inspiration I sit and wonder what to photograph.  I really enjoy my pass-time but finding inspiration and coming up with ideas of what to shoot can be challenging.  Especially when you’ve been doing it as long as I have.

So I read magazines, surf around on the web reading blogs and looking for ideas.  One thing that always comes up as a suggestion is to “shoot your own backyard”.  They say in these articles to shoot your own backyard if your feeling stuck and need inspiration.  Just by shooting in your own backyard you’ll be forced to find something new.  Sometimes I don’t know whether to take that literally or not.  So I go out my back door and look around and realize that I’ve shot so many pictures in my own back yard that there’s no way I’m going to find inspiration there…although I have from time to time.

So what does it mean to “shoot in your own backyard”?  If you don’t take it literally, like I did, and expand on that thought just a little, it means your neighborhood, your town, your city, the countryside around where you live that’s just a short distance or drive away.  That seems so simple when I put it that way that I feel silly not having realized it before.  But wait, I have shot all those things before, but maybe not with a fresh eye towards something specific in my neighborhood, my town and so on.

So today I decided to drive around and see what my little town of Gig Harbor, Washington looks like on a foggy, gray and overcast day in the fall.  And, even though I’ve seen these scenes for the past 30 years, somehow today they looked a little different.  I don’t know why exactly but looking for a photograph in my own backyard that represented my town on an otherwise gloomy and uninspired day presented the challenge I needed to get out and shoot.

With fresh eyes and inspired after I came across this shot of one of our marinas I just kept driving and looking and wasn’t surprised at all by the beauty this small little town has but was surprised at how many opportunities there are for photographs everywhere and at any time of the year, right here in my own backyard.

Thanks for reading.

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