10 Tips for Mindfulness via Photography
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. Observe your surroundings
  2. Focus on the details
  3. Embrace all weather conditions
  4. Practice patience
  5. Use photography to capture the moment
  6. Explore different perspectives
  7. Appreciate nature
  8. Reflect on your images
  9. Create a visual journal
  10. Share your experiences

Have you ever paused and admired the world through the lens of a camera? If you have, then you've already taken your first step towards mindfulness in photography: capturing the present moment through the lens. Photography, unlike any other medium, gives us the unique opportunity to freeze time, to capture the now, to be present. It's not just about taking pictures, it's about truly seeing and appreciating the world around us. So, let's dive in and explore 10 ways to practice mindfulness through photography.

Observe your surroundings

The first step towards mindfulness in photography is to really observe your surroundings. Now, you might think, "I do observe, I see things!" But remember, seeing is different from observing. When you truly observe, you're not just looking — you're engaging your senses, becoming aware of every detail, every color, every shadow, and every light.

Here's how to do it:

  • Take a walk: Leave your camera at home for this one. Just walk around your neighborhood, a park, or anywhere you can find some quiet. Pay attention to the colors, the sounds, the smells, the textures. Look at things as if you're seeing them for the first time.
  • Practice mindful seeing: Pick an object, any object. Now spend a few minutes just looking at it. Notice its shape, its color, its texture. Then close your eyes and try to recreate that image in your mind. This helps to train your brain to really see and not just look.
  • Shadow and light: Notice how light and shadow interact with each other. How they create different shapes and forms. This understanding of light will greatly enhance your photography skills.

Observing your surroundings is the fundamental step in mindfulness in photography. It helps you to connect with your environment, and in turn, capture the essence of the moment through your lens.

Focus on the details

When it comes to mindfulness in photography, the devil truly is in the details. Spotting the small things that others may miss can turn an average photo into a breathtaking one. It's about noticing the dew on a leaf, the texture of an old door, or the way the light reflects off a puddle. These are the moments that can make a photograph truly special.

So how can you get better at spotting these details?

  • Take a closer look: While observing your surroundings, take a moment to focus on the little things. Try to see the beauty in the mundane. A cracked paint job, a rusting bicycle, or a lone flower in a field can all make for stunning photographs when viewed with an eye for detail.
  • Use the right gear: A good lens can make all the difference when it comes to capturing details. A macro lens, for instance, can help you capture close-ups of small objects, while a wide-angle lens can help you capture a broader view of your surroundings.
  • Be patient: Rushing around won't help you spot the small stuff. Take your time. The more you look, the more you'll see.

By focusing on the details, you're not only improving your photography skills, but also practicing mindfulness. You're learning to be present, to appreciate the beauty around you, and to capture the essence of the moment through your lens.

Embrace all weather conditions

While a clear, sunny day might seem like the perfect time to grab your camera and head out, embracing all weather conditions is a real game-changer in photography. Mindfulness in photography means capturing the present moment through the lens—no matter what Mother Nature has in store.

Have you ever considered what a rainstorm can add to your images? The reflections in puddles, the droplets on windows, the way people huddle under their umbrellas — all add a layer of storytelling to your photos.

  • Embrace the rain: Rain can create a moody and dramatic atmosphere, perfect for capturing unique shots. Plus, raindrops can add an interesting texture to your photos. You might want to invest in a waterproof camera cover if you're planning a lot of rainy day shoots.
  • Make the most of the fog: Foggy conditions can give your photos a mysterious and ethereal quality. It's great for creating depth in your photos and making the ordinary look extraordinary.
  • Use the wind: Wind can create movement in your photos – think swaying trees or flowing hair. These elements can add a dynamic aspect to your pictures.

Remember, photography is about capturing reality, and reality comes in all weather conditions. So, grab your camera, put on appropriate clothing, and don't let a bit of weather deter you. Learning to embrace all weather conditions not only broadens your photographic range but also encourages mindfulness in photography: capturing the present moment through the lens, no matter what.

Practice patience

Photography is an art that often demands patience. Waiting for that perfect shot can sometimes feel like an eternity, but it's often in these moments of stillness that we can truly practice mindfulness in photography and capture the present moment through the lens.

When you are out with your camera, take the time to breathe in your surroundings. Don't rush to click the shutter. Instead, wait for the scene to unfold naturally. This could mean waiting for the sun to dip below the horizon, for a bird to take flight, or for a person to walk into your frame. It's these moments that can take your photos from ordinary to extraordinary.

  1. Be prepared: Always have your camera ready. You never know when that perfect moment will present itself.
  2. Don't rush: Good things come to those who wait. The longer you spend observing, the more you will notice and the better your photos will be.
  3. Enjoy the process: Remember, the goal is not just to take great photos, but also to enjoy the process of taking them. This is where mindfulness comes into play. It's about being present and fully engaged in what you're doing.

Practicing patience not only improves your photography skills but it also helps you become more attuned to your surroundings. It's a way of reminding yourself that mindfulness in photography is, above all, about capturing the present moment through the lens, and enjoying the journey along the way.

Use photography to capture the moment

One of the purest forms of mindfulness in photography is capturing the present moment through the lens. This practice is about more than just taking a picture—it's about immersing yourself completely in the moment and capturing it as it unfolds.

Consider this: you're on a walk in the park, and you see a leaf falling from a tree. Instead of just snapping a picture, take a moment to really observe the scene. Watch the leaf as it flutters down, notice the way the sunlight catches its edges, feel the cool breeze on your skin. Then, when you feel connected to the moment, raise your camera and capture it.

  1. Be in the moment: Instead of looking for the perfect shot, allow yourself to be fully present and open to the experience. This can lead to unexpected and beautiful photos.
  2. Observe: Before you press the shutter, spend a few moments observing your subject. Notice the finer details, the colors, the textures. This will not only improve your photos but also deepen your connection to the moment.
  3. Embrace spontaneity: Sometimes, the most magical moments are the ones that happen unexpectedly. Don't be afraid to let go of your plans and let the moment guide you.

Mindfulness in photography isn't about capturing a picture-perfect moment. It's about capturing the real, raw, and unfiltered moments that make up our lives. It's about feeling more connected to the world around us, and expressing that connection through our photos.

Explore different perspectives

Another powerful way to practice mindfulness in photography: capturing the present moment through the lens from different angles. This approach not only enhances your creativity but also encourages a deeper understanding of your surroundings.

Let's imagine you're photographing a bustling city street. Instead of just taking a photo from where you stand, why not explore different perspectives? Perhaps you could climb up to a higher vantage point for a bird's eye view, or kneel down to capture the world from a mouse's point of view.

  1. Change your angle: Instead of always shooting at eye level, try shooting from high above or down low. You'll be surprised how different the world can look from a new perspective.
  2. Zoom in: Don't just focus on the big picture. Sometimes, the most interesting details can be found when you zoom in. A close-up of a raindrop on a leaf or the texture of a brick wall can offer a fresh perspective.
  3. Try a new lens: Different lenses can dramatically change how a scene is portrayed. A wide-angle lens can capture a grand landscape, while a telephoto lens can bring distant objects into close view.

By exploring different perspectives, you're not just improving your photography skills, you're also practicing mindfulness. You're learning to see the world in new ways and appreciate the beauty in even the most ordinary scenes. And isn't that what photography—and mindfulness—are all about?

Appreciate nature

One of the most rewarding aspects of photography is the opportunity it provides to connect with nature. When you're practicing mindfulness in photography: capturing the present moment through the lens, you are not merely taking a snapshot of a scene; you are truly seeing, feeling, and appreciating the natural world around you.

Imagine you're out in the woods with your camera. The sunlight is streaming through the leaves, creating a dappled light show on the forest floor. You hear the rustle of leaves, the chirping of birds, the gentle whisper of the wind. You feel the cool shade, the rough bark of a tree, the soft moss under your feet. All these sensory experiences can be a source of inspiration for your photography.

  1. Look for the light: The quality of light can dramatically change the mood of a photograph. Morning and evening light—often referred to as 'golden hour'—can create a magical, dreamy effect.
  2. Appreciate the little things: It's easy to be awestruck by grand vistas, but don't forget to appreciate the smaller wonders of nature. The intricate pattern of a leaf, the delicate petals of a flower, or the dew drops on a spider web can make for a stunning photograph.
  3. Capture the seasons: Each season offers a unique palette of colors and textures. From the vibrant hues of autumn leaves to the stark beauty of a snow-covered landscape, nature provides endless opportunities for mindfulness in photography.

Remember, photography is not just about capturing a beautiful scene; it's about capturing a moment, a feeling, an experience. As you learn to appreciate nature through your lens, you'll also learn to appreciate the present moment— and that's what mindfulness is all about.

Reflect on your images

After a day of being fully immersed in your environment, camera in hand, comes another key aspect of mindfulness in photography: reflecting on your images. This process is more than just a casual flip through your shots. It's a moment of introspection, a chance to revisit your experiences and delve into the emotions they evoke.

Set aside some quiet time to review your photographs. As you do this, try to recall the exact moment each shot was taken. Remember the sounds, smells, and feelings associated with each frame.

  1. Identify your emotions: What was going through your mind when you took the photo? Were you calm, excited, anxious, or curious? Identifying your emotions can help you connect with your images on a deeper level.
  2. Understand your choices: Reflect on the technical choices you made. Why did you choose that particular angle, light setting, or composition? Each decision you made contributes to the overall mood and story of your image.
  3. Discover patterns: After reviewing a series of images, you might start to see recurring themes or subjects. These patterns can reveal what resonates with you, helping you understand your unique perspective.

Reflection isn't just about self-improvement as a photographer. It's about understanding your connection with the world around you. And who knows? You might even discover something new about yourself in the process.

Create a visual journal

Another way to foster mindfulness in photography is by creating a visual journal. A visual journal is not just a collection of your photographs, it's a visual testament to your journey and a way to record your observations, thoughts, and emotions associated with each image.

Here's how you can start:

  1. Choose a medium: It could be a physical scrapbook, a digital folder on your computer, or even a social media platform. Choose what's most convenient for you.
  2. Organize your photos: Date, place, theme—there are many ways you can organize your photos. Think about what would make the most sense for you. It could be by the color of the images, the mood they evoke, or even the texture of the subjects in the photos.
  3. Add your thoughts: This is where you can write about your experiences. What attracted you to the scene? What were you feeling at the moment? This will help you remember the context of the photo in the future.

Creating a visual journal not only helps reinforce the practice of mindfulness in photography, but it also allows you to see your progress over time. Plus, it's a great conversation starter when you share it with others!

Share your experiences

Sharing your experiences is the final step in fostering mindfulness in photography: capturing the present moment through the lens. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to post every photo you take on social media. Sharing can be as simple as discussing your experiences with a friend or family member. By articulating what you saw, felt and thought while capturing an image, you are reinforcing your mindfulness practices.

Here are some ways to share your experiences:

  1. Show your visual journal: Remember that visual journal we talked about earlier? You can use it as a tool to share your journey with others. Not only will they get to see your beautiful photos, but they'll also learn about your unique perspective and the emotions attached to each photo.
  2. Talk about your photos: Discuss the details you noticed, the patience it took to get the perfect shot, or how the weather influenced your photos. This could inspire others to start their own adventures in mindfulness through photography.
  3. Teach others: If you've found mindfulness in photography beneficial, why not pass on the knowledge? You could help a friend get started, or even host a small workshop or online class. Teaching is a great way to deepen your own understanding, too.

Sharing your experiences not only helps you reflect on your own practices but also helps to spread the joy of mindfulness in photography. So, go ahead, and capture the present moment through the lens, and don't forget to share it!

If you enjoyed our "10 Tips for Mindfulness via Photography" blog and want to dive deeper into this topic, we highly recommend the workshop 'Using Nature and Photography as a Form of Meditation' by louisbever. In this workshop, you'll explore the connection between photography, nature, and mindfulness, helping you to develop a meditative practice through your passion for photography.