Most people believe that producing original art requires thousands of dollars, plane tickets to exotic locations and a two month vacation. This may have been partially true in the past, but increasingly, good photography is about the height of your vision than the depth of your wallet. Whether you’re shooting with a cellphone or a $20,000 DSLR system, these simple practices will help cultivate your style and allow you to share a glimpse of what inspires you.

1. Be present to your surroundings
If you want to find and express your creativity, become fully present to your experience. See, hear, smell and touch everything as if for the first time. The easiest way to do this is to remind yourself to smile – the simple act of making a smile and holding it for no particular reason will make you notice something new in your environment. Remember this girl when you are struggling to find something to smile about and can’t see freshness in your surroundings :

2. Re-visit the same place at different times and conditions
Ironically, originality is borne out of the familiar – not out of the exotic. It maybe a small pond that’s in your neighborhood or a tree that’s always the first to change colors – whatever it is, make a practice of visiting it at different times of the day, year and during different types of weather. You may also find it interesting to visit as your mood and outlook changes.

originality is borne out of the familiar – not out of the exotic.

3. Slow down, Saturate and Savor
Our visual field is increasingly cluttered with fast moving scenes and images. I wonder how much color and richness we miss out on because our rods and cones don’t get to rest on a scene long enough and fully savor the experience. A few minutes of slow and contemplative presence can produce richer experiences than hours of rushing from place to place.

The greatest gift you can give is your original self.

I look forward to seeing the world through your eyes.

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