Acting on Impulse

In Film, Inspiration, Travel
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A few months ago, I joined my friend and fellow Viewfinder photographer, Debbie in an online photography course with Joel Meyerowitz.  It’s been a game changer for me.  It’s reignited everything I love about photography and it’s taken me back to the very reason I felt drawn to the medium initially.  I found my joy again.  I found my awareness of the beauty around me in this world.  It encouraged me to shoot images on impulse.  It pulled me out of my ever analytical and overly sensitive mind.

I began watching the lessons while in Florida with my family this past spring break and I started carrying my film camera everywhere in anticipation of what I might find.  To be true, I also had my iPhone with me, but found myself fiddling with social media apps and missing photo opportunities.  The second time this happened, I put my phone in my bag and strictly used my Pentax on photo walks.  In my head, I can still see the image I missed: ultra cool teenage boy on longboard skateboard cruising past a breakfast diner in the beautiful morning light framed by palm trees.  Gone.  I missed it and I learned a lesson.  From there on out, I focused my attention on two things: awareness & acting on impulse.  Don’t think; just shoot.  And so I did….

On this afternoon, as the kids ran off to swim in the ocean, I sat down with my book, towel, and camera in hand.  I glanced up to see this scene unfolding in front of me.  Family sandcastle strategy framed by striped beach umbrellas.   

I watched as this boy waited patiently for the perfect boogie board wave to roll in.

“Photography is about looking at the world and seeing in the world just the pieces in it that make you feel connected to it.”  Joel Meyerowitz

The endless blue and white stripes.  The blue sky and sea.  The lines both vertical and horizontal.  The blue shovel in the boy’s hand.  When I look at this image, I can still feel and hear the wind whip by.  I can still feel the sun on my shoulders and the sand underfoot.  I can still hear the kids laughing as they played.  All of those connections are carried in this photograph.  Don’t think; just shoot.And as the day drew to a close, two paddle boarders glided past my girl in the ocean.  Their silhouettes caught my eye and I watched as the gracefully floated past us. 

Acting on impulse.  Awareness.  Connection.  These ideas have felt like a breath of fresh air to me.  I’m excited about photography again and I’m looking forward to our summer trip….who knows what I’ll find!

~ Laura

*All images made with Pentax k1000 Kodak Ektar 100





  1. Beautiful! I can see the impact of the lessons here. These images feel like gifts – gifts that you in particular were asking for. That question of his, “does the image manifest itself, because you are there to seek it?” I think so.

  2. Your instinct was spot on, these photo’s are well done and I enjoyed reading yoru process. I’m scared. I loaded film in two different cameras and nothing looks sharp through the view finder. I’m afraid it may be the sign I need glasses. We will see when the film comes back.

  3. Laura, Thanks for sharing your story because really it’s my story, too. This is how we grow and we can help each other. Love these images that make me feel some sweet nostalgia, a kind of longing. And now I’m headed over to look up that class from Joel Myerowitz!

  4. Laura, there is so much beauty here and it nudges me to turn my camera towards life, not just work. That last photo has my heart. Love you, friend xx

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