A Balancing Act

It's no secret to my wife that I enjoy taking long walks whenever I’m traveling. And while doing these walks solo usually generate better results, it’s not always possible to just take off when we’re traveling together. So on a recent trip I figured if I wanted to walk with her and take pictures at the same time I had to adjust how I shoot and find the right balance between the two acts. With scouting street corners for half an hour and taking time composing out of the question, getting out of my comfort zone became necessary. I had to get creative (admittedly not my strongest suit) and while not all the adjustments were successful, here were some of the different approaches I took and their results:

  • Taking Snapshots. Realizing that walking the street with the missus was obviously not a good time to be precise nor be a perfectionist, I chose to exercise my instincts and went for quick snapshots instead. Although throwing out shots quickly had a disturbingly high miss rate, it was a lot of fun. Success Rating: B+ [For the fun factor.]

Here’s one that I didn’t get a chance to really think about how to frame. You can see some other pictures taken in a similar way on my instagram.

  • Sideways Photography. A subcategory of the infamous hip shot technique; turning the camera 90 degrees and keeping it in front so I could take quick shots of people on the sidewalks. Success Rating: C- [A Very fast way of shooting, but framing this way was just too tricky.]

An attempt at "sideways photography".

  • Milking Every Second. I used to get a little impatient when my wife stopped to shop. Not this time. The times she did so on this trip became my window of opportunities to take pictures. Success Rating: A+   

Milking Every Second. While other husbands were on their phones waiting for their wives, I was scouting a corner. This was a photo taken while she was in the shops.

  • Developing Short-form Directional Instructions. I explained to her what to do when I said "step left", "stop", or "keep going". Quick and effective ways to get her to move whenever she was blocking my angle. Success Rating: A+ [Although with a disclaimer. She's not your pet; don't over do giving instructions. And watch for traffic. Yeah, you don't want her stepping left onto the path of an approaching bus.]
  • Waking up an hour earlier to go shoot. I gave it a good go and did that for all of zero days out of nine. Success Rating: Big Fat F
  • Using all devices available for maximum results. Her phone became fair game when my cameras were low on batteries. Trouble was she noticed me checking her messages while I had her phone. Needless to say this one didn't end well! Success Rating: F

A photo taken with her phone before she caught me checking her messages!

With a lot of mixed results, I’m interested in hearing how other people deal with similar dilemmas; so if you have a suggestion, feel free to drop me a line. I'm also still editing and sharing more shots from the trip and you can see them either on instagram or flickr