One person’s story is another’s inspiration.
Placing yourself in a new environment works wonders for your creativity. You are in an unfamiliar setting – forcing your brain to adapt. It opens doors and invites fresh ideas that are unattainable if you’re inside all day staring at a computer. Our lively photographer, Mary Murphy, sparks up with any mention of inspiration along the road.
Mary is vibrant, kind-hearted and intelligent. And her photos prove it.
We sat down a few days back to tap into that creative brain and share with everyone else.
1. Where do you find inspiration while abroad?
It’s impossible NOT to be inspired while abroad. You’re inundated with new sights, sounds, people, and landscapes. Everything feels like magic. I love to ask a local where their favorite spot to watch a sunset is and go there. My advice to travelers visiting a new city is to put down your phone and purposely get lost. Follow your gut and see where it takes you. My best memories are getting lost in the colorful streets of Lisbon. Every wall has a story, every piece of graffiti has someone’s soul embedded into it. When you can be a fly on the wall, you’ll capture the most beautiful, natural moments. Let the city flourish in front of you, don’t force it.
2. How do you use photography to connect with the world around you?
Every city you visit makes you feel a certain way. The people might be friendly and affectionate, or cold and distant. The landscape may have colorful valleys or it’s snowy and mountainous. When I visit a new place, it’s my goal to capture pictures as a sort of personality profile for that city. When I look at my photos, I want to feel the way the city made me feel. I’ve never been a fan of directing people to pose for pictures. I prefer to capture people in their rawness; discovering a new place, or trying new food.
Photography/videography also forces me to be patient. Sometimes you’ll set out knowing you want to capture a shot, and the moment doesn’t present itself right away (or at all.) If you’re patient and wait long enough, the most beautiful moments happen.
3. Tips for travelers and aspiring photographers?
It’s important to find the balance between life and the lens. When you’re traveling, you’ll want to take pictures of everything. But nothing will EVER be as impactful as experiencing it first hand. Recognize the moments that are beautiful, capture it, and then be fully present for it. Especially if you’re traveling with other people.
Also, the less gear, the better. You don’t need the best of the best. You don’t need four different lenses, a camera stabilizer, and a boom mic. Most days you’ll be gone from home all day, so you don’t want to be carrying around a bunch of heavy things.
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