Do you need to travel to take great photos?

Day 206 of 365.

Yesterday I was shooting with a model friend and she said I love this look it would be so much better on a beach.  At first, I thought to myself, yeah, yeah it would.  Then I thought to myself bullshit everyone shoots this on the beach.  What separates you from the next person is a unique perspective on life and how you create from that perspective.  

I was born in the suburbs and my curiosity about what was around me has given me a unique perspective on what is possible here.  You are only limited by your beliefs of what you can and can't do. Ex. 50 years ago if you were born a male most people would assume they had to stay a male for the rest of their life.  These days we are starting to view our identity as a choice and not just by our physical appearance.  Yeah, I don't think we can ignore our reality but by acknowledging it and choosing to change our opinion of it we can make really great things happen.  

I know people who spend enormous amounts of money chasing amazing landscapes and locations to photograph.  Don't get me wrong I love to travel just as much as the next guy but I think for most photographers it can easily become a crutch.  I tell myself that I don't need people, landscapes, a good camera, etc to take good photos all I need is good light and I often shoot the light around my town.  When your traveling shooting awe-inspiring landscapes you are competing with the 10,000 other photographers who have taken those photos too.  The only thing separating your photo from theirs is the time of day and your editing.  When your shooting in your personal space, your town, neighborhood etc.  It is so unique to you.  You are the one and only person shooting there.  You know the area like the back of your hand.  Combine that with real people or the people you love and create memories in those places and your photos will explode.  Those are the photos that most go crazy for.  Portraits of real people interacting loving embracing, etc.  

I know all photography and art is subjective but if you are stuck in the suburbs for a week shoot in the suburbs.  If you're stuck in your hotel in Alaska shoot in the pool.  Don't limit yourself with I need XYZ to take photos.  You don't and the moment you let go of that notion is the moment you start creating more meaningful work.