Do you let perfect photo opportunities pass you by everyday because you're mid the wrong side of the road or too busy dashing for the train?
Do you lie in bed at night and see all those untaken photos flip through your mind as you drift off to sleep?!
If you've experienced any of the above (and I really hope some of you have and it's not JUST me!) then you need to join one of Xanthe's fab colour photo walks!! (Check out her inspirational instagram account here).
Nobody bats an eye lid of you suddenly crouch down in the middle of the road with your iPhone to snap a shot. Everyone gathers around to take a peek when you point out an obscure squiggle of street art. When you excitedly claim, 'look at this shot' - you get hearty exclamations of approval, rather than mumbled 'yes, yes my dear' responses. You're not being dragged along the street to try and get somewhere before the shops shut or having to run to catch up with everyone else after pausing for a snap. You don't have to worry about the cars - everyone's looking out for your back as you step into the street to get the perfect wide angle and haul you back to the safety of the pavement!
I could go on (and on!). Suffice to say, if you love to explore, gossip, make new friends and experiment with your phone or camera then a Photowalk is definitely for you!! Check out Xanthe's blog and insta for more details, I'm sure she'll be offering more very soon and I'll be the first to sign up! :)
The top highlights of the morning for me were:
1. Slowing down
Marching around the streets of London is what I've done for the last 12 years or so. It's actually incredibly difficult to purposefully slow down!! But the rewards when you do so and vast. The streets we walked down were filled with so many layers and layers of graffiti and collage that even a full day would have not given you time to really take in each little piece of artwork. But we certainly packed in more of Shoreditch than I have seen before!
2. Morning light
It's rare that I'm up and out of the house before late morning at the weekend!! So setting the alarm early was a rude awakening, but totally worth it for that bright crisp morning light before the clouds gathered. I really hate the darkness of winter, and I think it's a photographer's worst nightmare. But this Sat I barely noticed it at all! Sounds like my solution is to set that alarm an hour earlier each Saturday...we'll see how long this one lasts!!
3. Colour is allowed
Xanthe's instructions were dress in colour, wear pretty shoes and clear all you camera memory space. Anyone who knows me will be all TOO aware of which out of hose came naturally to me and which was a tough challenge!!! That morning my hardest decision was deciding which colours to veto from my outfit. After a week of office dressing in always primed to bust out all the colours of the rainbow at the weekend!! And my second hardest decision was which photos to delete. Worst. Job. In. The. World. Luckily I culled just enough to let me snap away with ease all morning. Thank goodness!
4. Making new friends
Making new friends is always fun, but finding the opportunities for it can sometimes be tricky! So when you rock up and everyone is new, everyone is on their tod and are all looking for new experiences to push them, it's a melting pot for a fun and varied few hours.
5. New angles
It's super easy to get stuck in a rut. The safety of a familiar shot that we know and love and can repeat ad nausium is difficult to shrug off, especially if it's worked well for us in the past (or got lots of 'likes'!). But watching and learning from others, sharing successes or failures and learning from them is super valuable. Even more interesting is seeing the trickle of images on insta over the following few days and seeing what people have picked out to share from the hundreds of images we took!!
So a truly inspirational morning and something I am super keen to try again. Have you ever done something like this? You could join an organised event, or drag a few friends out for a walk with benefits, or simply grab your camera when you have a spare hour and go explore your neighbourhood!