Don’t let small town life discourage you from discovering photography. Even if you’re miles away from the nearest hub of activity, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing in your neck of the woods worth capturing:
Atlanta-based artist Evan Ranft is no stranger to the suburbs so often ignored by professional photographers. Here are just a few tips he has to offer when it comes to approaching small town photography for the first time.
Quit writing possibilities off as “boring”
Yes, the place you live in might not have the excitement of a major metropolis. But that doesn’t mean that you should set up needless roadblocks to stop yourself from shooting. Taking interesting photos in a small town can be a challenge, but tackling difficult challenges is how we grow and develop as photographers.
Take risks and embrace challenges
There’s no arguing that big cities provide endless photo opportunities. Stepping away from the hustle and bustle forces you to be more considerate and thoughtful with your shots.
Contrary to what most people believe, exploring a small town for content can draw out your inner creativity.
Don’t shy away from collaboration
If you call a small town your home, use the people that make the area yours to enhance your photos. Friends, family, and local acquaintances have more skills or ideas to offer your practice than you may know. Everyone has something to gain from working together, so try not to isolate yourself artistically.
Stop underestimating your story
Everyone has a unique story of their own to tell. Ranft sums it up best with the following statement:
“If no one knows where you live, you have an advantage over all the people who live in a place like New York or Chicago or LA. These places get photographed every day…but you live in a place that’s untapped, a place with its own unique story.”
You never know who might be inspired by your eye. Use your skills to share what’s going on in your undiscovered corner of the world.
Set realistic goals for yourself
Keep your inspiration in line with your reality. You’ll never be able to get a fantastic subway photograph hours away from the nearest city, for instance. However, your small town might have a little train station. You might be able to take elements from an awesome NYC subway scene and apply them to what you actually have available to you.
In short, no matter where in the world you’re from, there’s beauty to be found. Finding it is a matter of the mindset that you choose to adopt and your willingness to open your eyes to potential. So step out into your small town with a fresh perspective. You might be surprised by what you find!
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