Pre-Travel Photography Fears: Will I get good shots???

.....I immediately felt a huge sense of insecurity wash over me. "If I can't go out in my own backyard and shoot good photos how am I possibly going to get good photo's while I"m in Europe?".....

Last night, after a wonderful Easter Sunday,  I noticed that the skies of LA looked amazing and that it would be a perfect night to head downtown to shoot some LA photos. My wife asked me if I wanted to shoot for a bit.  At first I said no, feeling a bit tired after a full days activities. That tired feeling didn't last long though before my excitement completely overwhelmed me and I just had to get out there and burn off some of this stored up pre-Europe excitement.

It was a beautiful night and I managed to find a great spot to shoot and enjoyed several hours of clicking off frames. I came back home feeling alive and super confident that if a night in LA was going to be this fun, Europe was going to be even better!

I quickly downloaded them into Lightroom and began editing. After about an hour, much to my disappointment none of my shots seemed to be turning out. I immediately felt a huge sense of insecurity wash over me. "If I can't go out in my own backyard and get good photos how am I possibly going to get good photos while I'm in Europe?"  Its a feeling I'm sure every photographer has felt right before a big photo shoot, photo assignment, or photography trip. That ever present fear of failure. To be honest its been a hard feeling to shake today.

But in the mist of feeling down there are always a few things that I try and remember that always help put a day like yesterday back into perspective.....

  1. #1 thing to remember while your on vacation is be present in the moment!!! That far out ways getting a good photograph! If I spend the whole trip just trying to chase the shot and miss out on special moments with my wife it will be a wasted trip! Living the trip rather then photographing the trip is key!  
  2. Shoot by the numbers! Even the best pro photographers don't nail it on every shot. More often then not a photographer will take hundreds if not thousands of shots for a handful of really amazing ones to take home, so try not to sweat it if something doesn't work all the time. Just keep shooting
  3. Gear isn't everything. You can try and be prepared as much as you can but when it comes down to it that extra piece of "just in case" gear will just be extra pounds you have to carry around. Try your best to only take what you need. 
  4. Remember that its a vacation! Its ok to put the camera away and just kick back and enjoy yourself! Sometimes I put so much pressure on myself to get out there and do something amazing I forget that my photography is about fun and the enjoyment of it. Thinking about it in any other way is just going to turn it into work....which is what I'm suppose to NOT be doing right now!
  5. Always remember that if your having fun you will take better photographs. Sometimes trying too hard puts too much pressure on yourself and it can totally ruin your photography. The nights I have been out there just having fun have been the nights that have always turned out well. Just go out there and see what happens. Worrying about it too much will take all the joy out of your experience.

Keeping these things in mind helps me focus on whats really important.... Having FUN!!!!