As photographers, regardless of the level we’re at, we always find ourselves the ones behind the camera. If you’re like me, you probably have a ton of photos of other people, places or things. But very few of yourself right? Over time, I’ve found that taking photos of other photographers, while they’re taking pictures, can actually be a very rewarding experience (for both them and you).
This all started years ago after Scott Kelby would always take a photo of me while I was shooting. I was so appreciative to have a cool photo of me doing something I love. Since then, I try to do the same whenever I’m out on a shoot with friends or other photographers. For starters, I think you’ll find you get some great photos. Photos that not only document the location you’re at, but the scale of the location because now there’s a person in it. But it goes further than that. I think you’ll immediately find how psyched other photographers are to have the photos because most of them have probably never seen themselves shooting before. It’s just an overall good feeling to make some one else that happy, and it can also lead to some great new friendships.
Here’s a photo I took of one of the guys in my workshop (Briggs) in the Palouse region of Washington state. It was right at sunrise and everyone was busy shooting away. I turned for a minute and saw Briggs shooting on a nearby hill and thought it’d be a great moment to capture.
Here’s a photo of yours truly, taken by my friend Barney Streit at Morraine Lake. Forget the fact that I like it because it’s me for a minute though. I think it’s cool because it not only shows a photographer doing what they love, but it shows the scale of the area they’re in.
This is a photo I took of my buddy Brian Matiash. Brian is not only a very talented photographer, but he’s also become a very good friend of mine. We’ve taken a few photo trips together, spent countless hours on the road driving to places that we’re really not even sure exist, and never had a quiet moment in the car.
And to repay the favor, Brian took a very cool photo of me on my trip to Oregon last week (which is what gave me the idea to write this post). I was trying to get up a little higher and shoot down on this rock as a foreground element as the water came in and out. Well, at one point, the water REALLY came in and surrounded me. It looks much worse than it is. The water did eventually subside and I was able to get off the rock no sweat. But in the end, it’s a photo that I’d have never gotten of myself. But because Brian took the time to stop, look, and grab the shot, I now have a photo that’ll stick around my “personal” folder for many years to come.
So I encourage you the next time you’re out with other photographers, take some photos of them. You’d be amazed at how happy it’ll make them and you never know, it may open up new opportunities and friends at the same time.