Sunday, July 6, 2014

4 Great Things About Taking a Photo Walk

Lately I've spent a lot of time putting on comfortable walking shoes, slinging my camera around my neck (or cramming my phone into a back pocket), and finding some nature to get lost in. Taking a photo walk is a simple practice that helps me calm down after a busy week and stretch my creativity in new, satisfying directions. It's something that can be done almost anywhere, with little to no investment or decision-making involved. Sounds awesome, right?

Here, in no particular order, are four great things about taking a photo walk.

1. Clear your mind. 
Taking a photo walk is a great way to practice a little bit of mindfulness -- it makes you slow down, take notice of what's around, and find beautiful moments even if you, like me, happen to be a stressed out, sweaty, anxiety-ridden mess. It helps me clear my head of the collected weekly junk and forget about the conflicts, nonsense, and cringe-inducing moments that otherwise might run in a brain loop 24/7.

2. Get your body moving.
Let's be real; exercise is awesome, but it's not always something that fills me with intrinsic motivation these days. Adding a creative component to something that already feels great? That's what gets me excited to hit the trails and get moving.

3. Rediscover familiar places.
Looking for interesting details can help you find new, exciting things about places you've been a million times. I've been hiking the trails at some of my local natural places since childhood, but through a camera lens there's always something new to discover, some detail to share that wasn't there the day before. Sometimes you can even meet new friends!

4. Find a quiet place to read. 
There's always a new spot to discover; this is my current favorite place, but anywhere can work in a pinch. Even when out hiking I'm seldom caught without a book.

I've been exploring some of my favorite local parks and naturey places on my photo walks, including Bucks County's Peace Valley Nature Center.  What's your favorite place to explore on a photo walk?