Warm-up exercises are a great practice to add to any regular routine or task you do!
I hadn’t thought about this until seeing a recent article for artists that suggested drawing circles, squares, triangles, wavy shapes and straight lines as warm-up exercises. This is not only for the eye, but the fingers and wrists as well as mental coordination. It makes so much sense, and yet unless you’re a football player or an opera singer, probably no one has ever made the ‘warm up’ suggestion to you.
What does this mean for photographers? We need to get creative.
I shoot nature and conservation photos, figuring out what kind of warm up goes with that just took a bit of observation. I’m up and down a lot, getting close to small plants and insects on the ground, so some knee-flexing is a good warm up for me. Stretches that loosen up my shoulders are beneficial since I’m swinging a camera up and down a lot. Supple fingers for fast lens changes are important, too.
Mentally, I warm up by researching if possible the area I’m going to shoot. When I arrive, I sit quietly and ask myself, “What’s important to see and share here?” (Did you know that if you ask yourself a question, your inspiration will do its best to answer? Be willing to listen.) Inspiration strikes every time when I ask, drawing me to what the place has to offer be that plants, insects, or a wider landscape view.
I invite you to be creative with this ‘warm up’ idea, take some time to observe how you work, if you have any physical tightness you may be able to ‘stretch it out’ before it’s a problem or discomfort. A mental warm up could be going over the steps in your plan before you start and feeling the accomplishment of a task well done.