Always carry a camera

by Henry B Posted on December 08, 2009

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I’m sure everyone knows that you can’t take a picture unless you carry a camera. I’m also sure that most people bring cameras to special events. However, I want to make the case that you should always carry a camera.

These days it’s relatively easy because of the wide variety of small cameras (and cell phone cameras) available. However, carrying a camera only gives you the ability to take pictures. You also have to train yourself to notice what is happening around you, take out the camera, and start snapping . For example, I was stopped at a traffic light and I noticed the dog in the car next to me. Since I always have a camera near, I was able to take this photo:

Another time, I was walking through a parking lot when I noticed a dog in the driver’s seat of a parked car. So, I took the following photo:

However, my best example is a picture I took while visiting friends a number of years ago who had a 13 month old girl. I accompanied them to the grocery store and, while they went off to shop, I stayed with the baby. The little girl spotted some stuffed animals on a display. She proceeded to investigate and then sit on a shelf among them. This was totally spontaneous and opportunistic. Since I was carrying a small (low resolution) digital camera, I was able to take this picture:

Later, people who saw the picture would remark, “who would ever think to take a camera to the grocery store?” It’s not really about thinking or planning. It’s all a matter of having the discipline to always carry a camera.

So, my challenge to you is to always carry a camera so you will never have to say, “if only I had a camera.”


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  1. Joey Says:

    This is a GREAT article Henry!! I make sure my purse or bag is always big enough so I can carry my camera every where I go. It is small enough to lug everywhere and I am never without it. How funny is that photo of the puppy out the window. Great shot. The one of the dog in the drivers seat is a hoot – I see that a LOT and that has inspired me to take photos of dogs in cars! We were at a stoplight once and the car in front of us had a beagle dog laying up above the back seat. I took it through our car window. You could still see the dog but there was a glare. I keep meaning to take displays of all the Christmas decorations in stores. How cute is your friends little girl in the display. She made herself right at home!! Very cute.
    I will continue to carry my camera every where I go!! Even to the grocery store. I love taking photos of the fruits and vegtables!!

    Fun article!

  2. Earl J Says:

    Excellent, and I especially like that first shot of the dog. How often I have to remind myself to have a camera with me.

  3. rsheedy Says:

    I’ve made a concerted effort to carry my camera around this year, and I cannot believe what a difference it has made. I still have a long way to go, but I completely agree…you never know when the photographic moment will arrive so you need to be prepared.

  4. beader374 Says:

    I love these!! I also carry a small camera in my purse at all times. One thing I love to do is when I may be out at a meal, and the food is presented well, I photograph it! I have always wanted to to an album of “dogs in cars” Love these shots!!

  5. AnnAbbott Says:

    I have a wonderful new Canon Rebel. I love the camera but sometimes it is a bit to big to carry around in an everyday situation. Nevertheless, you have given me great idea; I can carry my old Canon G7, which takes great photos. It is only 7.1 mega pixs and my Rebel is 15, but I did take some fantastic photos with that little guy so it would make a perfect everyday camera. I am going to do that and catch those… If I only had a camera shots.

  6. ElleSnaps Says:

    I carry my camera every where I go, literally. When I pack up for work in the morning I grab my small camera backpack right along with my purse. It sits beside me here at work and travels with me home. I have been so happy to have had it with me so many times. I also use my iPhone camera alot, with all the great apps I can have some real fun with those pictures too.
    Great tips Henry!!

  7. shannonr Says:

    This is really great advise and I think i need to take it…LOL. I always see things that i say to myself “this would be a great shot” but low and behold the camera is at home. I dont like to leave it in my car so i tend to just bring it to events as you had stated most do. I think what i need to do is purchase a smaller pocket size camera for the togo moments. Great article and it has given me the nudge to do more in the moment pictures.

  8. jennyjo.maldonado Says:

    i get made fun of for having my camera out for every little thing that happens!! i dont mind i have the best pics too hahaha.. i have a kodak point and shoot and i really like it but ive had it for almost 5 yrs and i think im ready for an upgrade! any suggestions.. i want a GOOD camera but being able to fit it in my purse is a MUST!

more about Henry B

I first became interested in photography in 1969 when I purchased my first 35 mm SLR. I switched to digital photography in 1999 and bought my first DSLR in 2003. I retired in 2004 which means I can spend more time doing what I like. I got involved with photo books because they allowed much more than merely organizing photos. Additionally, stories can be created or documented much more clearly with a combination of photos and text.

View all articles by Henry B »

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