Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Your Camera As a Writing Tool

Being both a writer and a photographer I cannot believe that I didn’t think of this idea myself!  Of course a camera is a fantastic tool for a writer!  I’ve used my camera as a writing tool a million times myself but never really processed it quite that way.  Brilliant!  I must give credit where credit is due!  This blog post was inspired by Cheryl Reif and her wonderful post, Super Easy Ways Your Camera Can Make You a Better Writer.


As Cheryl points out, and as I often do, it does not matter what kind of camera you are using for this!  Use what you have available.  If photography becomes more of a hobby and passion, then think about upgrading, until then, use what you have and try not to leave it behind when you are out and about.  You also want to make sure that it’s fully charged!  Nothing is worse than going to take a picture and finding out that your camera is dead!  It’s happened to me and it is distinctly unpleasant and quite frustrating.  Be prepared for whenever and wherever inspiration may strike!

3 Ways Your Camera Can Be Your Tool

There are three main ways that your camera can be your writing tool
  1. Documenting places, people, objects, or processes to inform your non-fiction work, for setting a scene, or for creating a character.  It helps to keep your details real.
    Camera as Writing Tool.jpg
    Camera as Writing Tool-001.jpg Camera as Writing Tool-002.jpg
  2. Capturing information quickly - such as an informational sign about a location or museum display.  It’s easier to capture it with one click of the shutter and reference it later than it is to try and copy it or take notes about it.

    Camera as Writing Tool-005.jpg
  3. Inspiration - whether for prose or poetry, capture tidbits of life that capture your fancy.
    Camera as Writing Tool-003.jpg OK, I have to mention the donut! I was so incredibly amused at how my nephew chose to consume his chocolate and sprinkle-covered donut that I HAD to take a picture of it! This is a detail that may make into one of my kids books or inspire a kids book all about eating donuts. Who knows! I just found it hysterical, don't you?

Guidelines When Photographing People

You want to be careful, courteous, and respectful (of course!) when you are photographing people.  ClickinMoms has a great article that outlines some guidelines of photographing people in public places.

How about you?  Have you ever used your camera as a tool for your writing? And, how do you eat your donuts? LOL

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Be sure to go and visit Cheryl Reif's blog!


  1. I love the donut picture (and story!), too. Is that part of what makes a great photo, the hint of a story behind it? Regardless, it made me wonder, and I was glad you provided the story behind it.

    Thanks so much for the shout-out. Great info, especially the link to what photographers need to know about the law. I've always been hesitant to photograph people in public, and this guidance is terrific!

    1. Hi Cheryl! Thanks for swinging by! Yes, I would say that part of what makes a great image is one that tells a story, whether the entire story or just a hint of one. I think Ansel Adams said it best: "A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed."

      Glad you found the Clickin Moms link helpful. I also recently found out that pets require a property release. Who knew?!