One of the biggest things that holds new photographers back is feeling comfortable taking a picture of something. It can feel strange to stop, take out your phone and photograph something, especially if there’s people involved, especially strangers.
I’ve learned you need to become comfortable with this, because some of the best photos will come in these moments.
Here’s a story about a tree I see on my drive to work. There’s nothing special about it, it’s like other trees. But when autumn comes, it’s leaves change to a color different than the surrounding trees. Some mornings, the sun poke through in a striking way.
I always thought: I need to stop my car, get out and photograph it. But I never did, telling myself I’d get it tomorrow, or it will always be there and I can always get a picture.
Three years later, I never taken that picture and I never will. Driving to the office today, I noticed a new building is being constructed on the piece of land. The tree is still there but the backdrop has totally changed. I will never be able to get that photo.
This is just one example, there are many more. Honestly, it hurts a little to think about the pictures that have slipped through time.
This is a part of being a photographer and will continue to happen. But, a general rule should be if something catches your attention, follow your curiosity and take a picture of it. You might never have the opportunity again.