When talking to new or even professional photographers, the one problem I hear come up again and again is that we don’t have enough time to photograph.
If you’re a photography hobbyist, you probably have a hard time finding time to take photos when you’re trying to schedule around things like your full-time job or being a stay at home mom.
If you’re starting to take photography more seriously as a side-hustle, it can be difficult to juggle your job, family, friends, and other responsibilities.
And if you are a full-time photographer, it can be hard to find the time to learn new photography skills to up-level your craft.
I’ve heard it time and time again, where time is used as an excuse not to photograph or to learn more about photography.
While, this is understandable and we literally only have so many hours in a day, time should not be an excuse for you not to go out and shoot.
How can you find time to photograph without inventing a time machine, you ask?
Fear not, as you’re about to discover some great tips and tricks on how to find and make time to shoot and to improve your photography skills.
Don’t just hope, PLAN
Just like anything else in life, you need to prioritize the things that you actually want and need to spend time on. This may seem like common sense, but it’s something that most of us admittedly don’t do.
Sit down with a planner (if you don’t have one, get one) and literally mark down time each and every week or every day to spend focusing on photography.
This may look differently depending on the individual. Maybe you could schedule in two hours every day Saturday to focus on learning about photography and spending some time shooting. Or maybe it may work better in your schedule to spend twenty minutes every day to either shoot or dedicate to a photography education program.
A good program that is designed to help fit your schedule is our Photography Accelerator Program. This program was specifically designed to help you learn essential skills in five weeks time, but you can do it on your own schedule.
Stop Wasting Your Own Time
If you’re anything like me, you just spent a half an hour of your morning scrolling through Instagram liking other people’s photos. While this is useful for inspiration, it can quickly turn into wasting hours every day doing this.
Instead of distracting yourself with social media or binge-watching the latest show on Netflix, put the screen down and pick up your camera.
It can be hard to hold yourself accountable for this, it’s easier said than done.
If you’re addicted to social media, try some apps that will literally lock you out of your social media apps once you’ve wasted too much time on them.
Don’t Blame The Rain
If you really want to shoot, but every day you have time the weather isn’t cooperating, don’t use that as an excuse.
Firstly, you can always shoot indoors. However, if you do still want to shoot outdoors, difficult weather can sometimes make the best photos. Be inspired by the weather instead of scared of it.
A rainy day can add beautiful reflections, drops, and moodiness to your photos that sunshine can not provide.
Cloudy days are actually perfect for photography. Oftentimes, the natural light is easier to work with and more flattering for portraits.
Practice Makes Almost Perfect
None of us will ever be perfect photographers. But that’s not the point. The point is to be happy with you photos, to wow others, and to tell stories.
Once you’re able to dedicate time to learning new camera skills, you have to practice them in order to make positive progress in your work.
You can read all you want, but until you pick up your camera, your work will never get better.
Make sure allot great amounts of time to practicing your techniques. This could be done even if you only have five minutes to spare and you’re just in your home. Use some of the techniques you have learned to take photos of your plant, dog, bed, or whatever is in front of you. Although these may not be groundbreaking photos, the practice matters.
Make Your Camera Your Sidekick
Take your camera with you everywhere. You never know when you’ll see something that will inspire you or when you may have a few moments to spare to practice your skills.
Maybe you’re with your kids at the park. Use that time to take photos of them in action.
Maybe you’re taking your daily walk and see a beautiful flower on your way.
Or maybe you’re making your morning commute and notice interesting details or people who have a story to tell.
Always be prepared and make sure you don’t miss out on a moment simply because you didn’t grab your camera on your way out the door.
I spoke to a few professional and paid photographers who shared their secrets on how they find time to photograph for themselves.
Laura Morsman is a full-time professional wedding and editorial photographer. Although photography is her job, she still struggles just like most of us to find time to take photos for herself and not just for her clients.
“I know that when I dedicate that “self” time to my work, when it becomes intrinsic and personal, that’s when I grow and stay connected not only to my work, but to myself,” Morsman said.
One way that she makes sure to find time to create work that inspires her, she schedules styled shoots far in advance.
“I choose a day, create what I want to make happen, get the people involved, the space rented, the ideas flowing, and then I’m locked in,” Morsman said.
Morsman is not someone that will ever cancel on anything, so she almost forces herself to make sure that she makes time for herself.
“That may honestly be the only way I make time to photograph things for myself, and when it happens, it feels like I’m alive again!” Morsman said.
Tom Borges is also a professional portrait photographer, but he balances his photography with another full-time job. This makes finding time for photography difficult.
“Really for me, there isn’t enough time for anything. But I still manage to make it happen,” Borges said.
Borges takes advantage if any free-time he has to shoot, edit, or read about photography. Even if that free time is just one hour.
“There’s really no time for ‘down time,’” Borges said.
Another trick they Borges uses is to make the most out of his free-time. If he’s working on a specific project, he tries to make it multi-purposed.
“If I’m going on vacation, I will try to squeeze in at least a shoot or two. If I’m just going home to visit my family I’m definitely trying to make SOME kind of shoot happen, even if it’s just self portraits,” Borges said.
Whatever excuse you’re giving yourself right now about why you can’t pick up your camera or work on a photography course, is exactly that—-an excuse.
We all have time to dedicate to photography, we just need to find that time.
Make photography a priority, schedule in time for your photography, stop wasting time on superfluous things, don’t blame the weather, and make your camera your best friend.
By following these tips, you’ll sure to be surprised as to how much time you’ve had all along.