We are always told to photograph everyday.
This is what pushes forth projects like the “365 project” (where you take a photo everyday) — which is supposed to help inspire and motivate us in photography.
But what if the opposite was true — that by not photographing everyday, we would be more inspired and motivated in our photography?
Taking a lesson from bodybuilding — you’re not supposed to exercise the same muscle everyday, or else you don’t give your muscles the time to recuperate and rebuild. The growing of the muscles apparently happens while you’re resting and consuming protein (not when you’re actually working out).
So what if we need to take a break from constantly shooting, to refresh ourselves, and to re-inspire ourselves?
I think many of us find photography as a creative outlet. We feel very un-creative with our jobs, so we see photography as a way for us to express ourselves, to stay inspired, and to have that child-like curiosity about the world.
But what if the answer wasn’t to become a better photographer, but to just find more appreciation and creativity in your everyday life? What if it meant that you spent less time worrying about photography, and more time finding ways to be creative and grow in your 9-5 job?
What if it meant spending less time making photos, and more time with your family? Or more time dancing, making music, or painting or drawing?
What if taking fewer photos was our goal? Then we wouldn’t have to stress out as much. We would only make photos when there was a personally-significant moment. We wouldn’t feel unnecessary pressure to constantly produce.
Ultimately it comes down to your personal preferences. There are no “right” or “wrongs” in photography — only what works for you and what doesn’t work for you.
If you have a personality that you need to always be producing, then perhaps shooting everyday and all the time is the secret for you.
But if your creative process doesn’t work that way — perhaps you should focus on shooting less everyday. And being more selective.
Experiment with both; but know that shooting fewer photos doesn’t make you a worse photographer. Perhaps it makes you more considerate, thoughtful, and precise.