Photo walks are organized by small groups of photographers all around the world, but you don’t need to be a part of a group or to wait for the next event to go on a photo walk. You can simply take your camera and go on a walk of your own. In fact, there are many reasons why a photo walk can be a great experience. If you’re part of a group photo walk there are a lot of benefits like networking, learning from others, and even getting and giving feedback on different gear. This post is focused on taking a solo photo walk, so all of these benefits can be had even without an organized group in your area.
Refining your skills requires practice. If photography is not your full-time job you probably find that you don’t get as much practice as you would like. Any easy way to improve on this is to set aside some time, grab your camera and take a walk with the specific purpose of taking photos. This is a great way to improve through the extra practice that your photo walks give you.
2. Find Great Subjects That You Have Overlooked
When you take a photo walk you will be in your own city or town and looking for interesting subjects that are around you as you walk. You will certainly find some great subjects that you would have otherwise never noticed or considered as the subject of a photo.
If you are like me you normally subject or destination when you set aside time for your photography. But with a photo walk you get away from this habit and learn to find opportunities for great photos wherever you happen to be.
3. Change of Pace
Regardless of whether you are a full-time photographer or if you have some other type of career, daily life can be quite fast-paced and stressful. A photo walk is a great change of pace that will allow you to move at your own pace and go nowhere in particular just for the fun and practice of getting some photos.
If photography is your hobby it can be a great stress reliever and a good break from your normal routine. If you are a full-time photographer you most likely have specific projects, sessions, or shots that are necessary for your job. A photo walk can be a fun way to enjoy photography while having the flexibility to shoot whatever you want, rather than what is needed to pay the bills.
4. Allows You to Shoot Different Subjects
Most photographers, whether full-time or hobbyist, tend to shoot the same types of subjects or styles of photos. It could be portraits, weddings, landscapes, wildlife, still life, macro, etc. Taking a photo walk will give you the chance to do something different. That can provide a nice break, and also help by forcing you to break habits and try new things.
5. Can Be Done Anywhere
You don’t need to travel to a special location for a photo walk. Just choose a section of your city or town that you want to explore. It could be a huge city, a smaller city, a small town, or even a rural area. Wherever you are there will be opportunities. You can even take a photo walk when you are in a new location, like when you are on vacation or visiting family or friends.
6. Can Be Done in Any Season
You can talk a photo walk in spring, summer, fall, or winter, and the benefits will always be there. You can even explore the same areas in different seasons, different weather, or even at different times of the day and get completely different photos. The settings will often change drastically from one season to the next, so you’ll never run out of places to explore and photograph.
7. Only Requires Minimal Gear
You don’t need to take all of your gear with you for a photo walk. It’s usually more beneficial to go with a minimalist approach and only bring the bare essentials. You don’t even need a DSLR. You could simply take a point-and-shoot camera or even just a smartphone.
Photo walks can be a great experience, so pick an area near you to start exploring.