I talked, recently, about the worry of going out to take photographs right now. On the one hand, it might not be considered necessary or essential in the social distancing climate. Although I’d argue it IS essential for your mental health if you’re a photographer. 

But there’s another side to this discussion, isn’t there? What about actually using photography to capture this period of our lives? Because surely making a record of a unique part of our history is important and worth doing, isn’t it? 

Whatever your speciality…

Whether you’re a landscape or nature photographer, someone who prefers photographing animals or people, or you’re more street or fine art, you’re all capable of capturing a record of what’s going in your world right now. What’s great is that your preferences, experiences and skills influence how you go about capturing your story. So don’t feel like you’ve got nothing to offer when it comes to making a record of current events. You absolutely do. Different photographers will capture this time in different ways. It’s interesting to see all those perspectives. 

One of the things I’m starting to love to see online is this sharing of different perspectives. For example, there’s a group on Facebook where members share their views outside their windows. Being able to see all the different views the world over, right from my own home, is so interesting and inspiring. And kinda helps to make the world feel a little closer than it is.

But how can you capture what you’re seeing?

There are a bunch of different ways you could do this. Here are a few suggestions but this is not an exhaustive list. I’m sure you could come up with some ideas of your own too. 

Photo a Day Project

Why not start capturing one image a day that shows what it is you’re experiencing right now. You could focus on taking one shot the same time each day. Or of the same scene. You could choose a theme around one aspect of your new life, such as working from home. 

Focus on one aspect of your new life

You might not fancy the idea of taking one shot every single day. I know I’m hopeless at those kinds of projects. But you could use the idea of a focused theme to take your photographs. You might capture a record or homeschooling your kids, or what you see on your walks. I’ve seen some amazing photographs of people’s everyday streets looking desolate. Think about a part of your life you’d like to capture and record and then use that as the base for your project. 

Should you share?

It’s entirely up to you! Maybe you’d like to keep your photographs for yourself. A personal record of this weird and unique period of our lives. Or you might want to share your images through blog posts or on something like Flickr. There are no right or wrong answers. Only your answers and what feels right to you.

So, why do it?

You don’t have to see it purely as a means to create a record. But, as photographers, you are creatives and creativity is part of who you are. So, being able to tap into that creativity and using this odd and strange experience as a springboard for it is a big part of why. I’m not happy if I’m not creating or being creative in some way. So, if all I can do is capture a few images of what’s going on around me right now, I’m sure I’m going to give it a go. 

You never know. The images you create through all this may become part of our history and show our future generations exactly what it was we went through in 2020. And that’s not a bad thing at all.