Besides recess and lunch, the best part of elementary school was definitely field trips. You got to skip school, explore a new place, learn new stuff, hang out with your friends and cruise around in a minivan. Bonus if your chaperone played cool music.
At Duarte, we understand the magic of field trips. We like them a lot. When we craft stories for clients, often a story comes from the experience of a journey, not the destination.
Photography is a big part of our work, and for a few employees, it’s a big part of life. We’re fortunate enough to have some extremely talented photographers on staff, and even luckier that they’re the sort of people who are passionate about teaching their craft.
Sure, there are great online tutorials about how to use your camera. A workshop could teach you to compose a great photo. But the field trip, that’s where the magic happens. Here are some tips for creating an unforgettable learning experience:
the Hell Out of the Office
After spending 40 hours working, whether it’s behind a desk and in front of a computer screen, or bustling around a fancy photo studio, getting outside will do more than give you some much-needed fresh air and vitamin D. Being in a new place will wake up your brain and make it more receptive to the new skills you’re about to introduce. Seeing the world from a different perspective – the big picture of a wide angle, or the tiny details visible with a macro lens – sharpens the mind and refreshes you. When you fill your life with original experiences, you’re more likely to generate original ideas.
Risks Are Worth the Reward
While you’re stepping outside the office, step outside your comfort zone. The more risks you take, the less risky each one will feel. And the more likely you are to stumble on a new idea. And yes, you will stumble. Despite what you may think, [insert your favorite photographer/artist/idol here] is human. They had to make mistakes to get where they are now. And they still make mistakes. Every. Day. If you need a little shot in the arm, watch this video by Sir Ken Robinson. It’d guaranteed to make you want to color outside the lines.
Use a Trip to Get Pro Tips
Chances are, you’ve got a super-talented photographer in your midst. And if they’re anything like the ones we’ve got at Duarte, they’re super busy. This is where the field trip comes in handy – the cooler the location of your field trip, the more likely you are to get a crew to tag along with you. Not only will you have more people to
guilt trip flatter your resident creative genius into making the trip with you, they’ll have a good reason to check out a location they’ve been eyeing for awhile. Don’t be afraid to stand on the shoulders of giants, even if you have to lure them to a remote location to do it. And, don’t be intimidated by equipment or gear. Everyone can gain from these experiences whether you have a DSLR, a point and shoot, or even shooting with your smartphone. The art of looking, collaborating, and sharing is what will give you a great experience.
From a Pro’s Perspective:
“Going out and helping others is really a reward in itself, in a very practical way. As someone who has been taking photos most of my life, it’s easy to feel held back by the “rules” of photography or design. Being with people who are excited to explore and unafraid to break the rules often reminds me to loosen up and look at things differently. Many of our co-workers get some great shots that I never would have seen. They didn’t hold back, they had no fear. This is also the joy of teaching with digital – the possibilities are endless. By helping others, I never stop learning. When we’re done, looking at our gallery of photos, it’s great to stand back and see the world through their moments of inspiration, and hear the pride about each moment, every detail. They remind me that I should be having fun, and that’s important to remember in all aspects of life.” -Mark Heaps lifebypixels
Get Inspired, Stay Inspired
After each photo field trip, everyone was absolutely abuzz. No matter the environment, or the group of people, we each learned something new – about each other, our surroundings, our cameras, or ourselves. Whether we were scouring San Francisco for hidden typography, or admiring Dan’s fire spinning in downtown Sunnyvale, we walked away from the experience more in awe of the world than we started.
In addition to the new skills, and new friendships, we came away creatively energized. So take a chance and take a trip, it might be the very thing that is a catalyst for your next stroke of creative brilliance.
Check out some photos and videos from our past Photo Field Trips. We hope they inspire you to start trippin’.
Definitely! I don't think you can create something new or produce a fresh take on something if you don't go out and see the world. If you stay inside your office most of the time, you won't really be able to realize that life is happening outside.
Thanks so much for sharing this post. I'm sharing the link with members of our photo club to inspire creative field trips.