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.”