If you’re like me, you get anxious before heading off on a new photo trip and this anxiety seems to grow as the departure day looms closer. It gets magnified even more if it has been a stretch since your last photo outing. In my case, anxiety began creeping in a day or two before leaving for a 10 day road trip to Wyoming and Colorado to photograph the fall colors.
2017 has been an odd year thus far. The first half was spent in a big funk while working at Wacom and the best thing I did was quit. Doing so allowed me to return to focusing 100% of my efforts on my own company, which has clearly proven to be a better use of my creative energy. It also opened up my entire schedule to travel as I see fit and after taking a few months to move to Nebraska and get my business back on rails, Nicole and I packed the Jeep and headed out with our cameras for a good ol’ adventure. Our first stop: Grand Teton National Park.
The only problem was that I had this uneasy anxiety creeping in my mind during the entire 14 hour drive over. It has been a long spell since my last significant outing with my camera and, for some reason, I felt a lot of pressure to come home with some real winners. Don’t get me wrong. I think all of you can relate to wanting to walk away from a trip with photos that you’re excited about. But there’s a difference between being excited to get new photos and creating anxiety over it. When we finally arrived to the park, settled our campsite, and headed out for our first sunset shoot, I began rationalizing things. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen, right? Sure, it took about 14 hours to drive out here but it’s not like I couldn’t return just as easily in a month or two and even if I was visiting a location that required more costly travel logistics, I would still ask, “What’s the worst that will happen?”
And that’s basically all it took. If you ask yourself that question honestly and answer it honestly, you should come to the same realization that I did. At the end of the day, I’ll still be fine even if I get nothing but turds for photos. In other words, if I allow myself to take everything in stride and GASP just enjoy the scenery for what it is, I may just allow enough clarity of mind to focus on the photography instead of the anxiety. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing and you know what?. So far. So good.
What about you? Does this tip resonate with you? Do you have your own ways of dealing with pre-photo trip anxiety? Share them in the comments!