Scrubadoo.com has invited Jacques Bouchard from Onward Healthcare to add his travel nursing expertise to our blog! Check out what he has to say about photography and its benefits for travel nurses (and everyone else!):
Many moons ago, I took my first job at a local grocery store. The work was fast-paced but not very challenging, and was definitely short on perks. However, I worked hard, dedicated myself to my schoolwork, and counted myself lucky to not be washing dishes or flipping burgers.
One day, while bringing in shopping carts, I looked up and saw the sky over the store – it was absolutely blazing with an evening sunset. I stopped and stared, open-mouthed; it was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen.
That evening brought me a revelation: I realized that couldn’t remember the last time I’d even LOOKED at the sky when the sun was setting. Afterwards, for as long as I worked there, I did everything in my power to align my cart duty with the rising or setting sun. And since then, I’ve also begun to make time to stop what I’m doing, look around for a few moments, and take a snapshot or two of something that catches my eye.
More Than Simply Stopping to Smell The Roses!
Photography is about more than a pretty picture or two! A nurse’s work environment can be a hectic, fast-paced one – and if the job-market predictions are true, that pace isn’t going to change any time soon. Taking up photography as a hobby is an excellent way to train ourselves to slow down, trade in our on-the-job tunnel vision for a big-picture perspective, and focus on things we find beautiful, funny, or fascinating.
And believe me: when you have that camera turned on and resting in your hands, you start to see some pretty great stuff! For example, had I not been of the “photographic mindset”, here’s just a few things I would have missed out on:
Getting Started With Photography
As you begin to take your first pictures, keep these tips in mind:
- Photograph what you love – My favorite pictures are of natural settings, but chances are that you prefer people, pets, architecture, historical sites, food, or something else entirely. Whatever it is you enjoy, embrace it!
- Take LOTS of pictures – I never take only one picture of something I like – there’s too big a chance that the picture will be blurred, the light isn’t right, someone blinked at the last second, or any of a thousand other photo-ruining possibilities. Try your shot several times – and from several different angles!
- Bring your camera everywhere – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve slapped myself on the forehead because some rare, beautiful opportunity arose, and I was without my camera. Keep it with you whenever possible – and bring extra batteries!
One of the most effective rules a new photographer should experiment with is the “rule of thirds”. To follow this rule, all you need to do is visualize a three-by-three grid of squares or rectangles in your photo frame. Try to line up the focal points of your picture along the edges of these gridlines – especially at the corners where the gridlines meet. See, for example, how our frog photo fits in the grid:
If you’re looking for a few more easy tips, I found this post on photography basics very helpful!
Most importantly – enjoy yourself! Share your pictures proudly, but make sure you’re taking them for yourself. This is a great way to relax, exercise your creativity, and to do something healthy and productive for yourself.
And hey, if you’re looking for a little motivation to get started in your photography hobby, why not check out Onward Healthcare’s photography contest? We’ve giving out prizes to those who work in travel healthcare, and submit the best photos of themselves on assignment!