I recently had the pleasure of being contacted by a photographer from out of town who was planning to visit the area, and who had made my “acquaintance” via an online photo site and another photographer friend of mine that we share in common. I had suggested that we meet a Crystal Cove for a late lunch and then an afternoon of photography. You really can’t go wrong with this destination, and since my out of town guest had never been there, I knew it would be a hit.
For me though, I had anticipated it would much the same as the many times I’d been there before, beautiful, yes, but familiar. I really should know better given the number of times I’ve gone out into my own back yard (literally) and found new things to make photographs of. Of course I brought my camera, but my expectations weren’t high that there would be a lot of new things to see. Of course I should have known better.
But this is where that “two is better than one” adage comes in. Sure, on my own I could have immersed myself in the moment and no doubt found many new things to inspire image creations, but with another photographer friend, and one whom I’m never met or shot pictures with, this day would be special. Not only did my new friend have a fresh set of eyes on what is now a very familiar place to me, but he also had a different point of view. And more importantly than that, he verbalized what he was seeing and noticing, and being inspired by. I was able to not only learn by watching him, but by listening to him. It’s not a question about who is more experienced with visualizing and composition, or who has more command over the technical aspects of photography or camera gear; it’s simply a recognition that everyone is different, and each person has strengths not universally shared by others.
When I download my images and started going through them, it was a surprising feeling to see images that didn’t fit with my usual “style”. There was almost a sense of disbelief that they were actually taken by me, not because they were necessarily award-winners, but they conveyed ideas and subject matter in a different way than I typically would. On this day I learned a lot from my new friend, and in doing so, reaffirmed that two is in fact, better than one.
So take a friend out with you on your next photoshoot—you might be surprised what you’ll “see”! (my email address is shown below…hint)