Author name: Kary Schumpert

Kary keeps a blog at and can be found on Instagram at @running_into_life. She teaches, writes, runs, plays with cameras, and spends her time in New Mexico and Colorado.

yellow maple leaf amid dried brown leaves on pavement

The Case for Always Taking Your Camera

In all of the photography advice I have ever received, the most common is to always bring your camera. You never know when you might come across something that you want to aim your camera at, and the comfort of having a camera around your neck or tucked in your pocket or bag is joyous. I love the spontaneity of being able to take a picture anywhere. You can find small or substantial moments and you never know when they will pop up. It could be a cloud formation or the way that a shadow hits the sidewalk as you are walking to the mailbox. It might be a bird in mid-flight or your child running. That “decisive moment” that Henri Cartier-Bresson described is much easier to find when you have your camera with you.

The Case for Not Always Taking Your Camera

Okay, it might be blasphemy to write this for a photography website. The other night, on a beautiful spring evening, I took Jupiter the dog for a little walk before dinner. I wanted to enjoy that prime space between winter and full-on spring. I usually grab a camera, even when it’s for a quick walk, but this night I deliberately left the camera behind. The time had just changed, and so we had that extra hour of daylight that all of the clock-switching nonsense aims for. We walked past the neighborhood park and turned onto a wide sidewalk trail heading east. The huge full moon was just rising and peeking out over the houses and treeline. It was absolutely gorgeous, beautiful reds and oranges reflecting the sunset hues in the opposite sky. I paused, and so did Jupiter.

Nikon D40 – an Ode to my First “real” Camera

(The idea of an ode to my first “real” and favorite camera is inspired by Pablo Neruda’s Odes to Ordinary Things. I love that we can pay allegiance to those beautiful, ordinary items of life.) They say that you can never forget your first: your first love, or, in this case, your first camera. Technically, the Nikon D40 is not my first camera, but my fifth, but it is my first “real” camera, the first one with an interchangeable lens. It’s the camera that I have had the longest, almost 15 years, and for a baker’s dozen of years it was the only camera that I owned. It’s the camera that feels familiar, comforting, and reassuring in my hand. It’s the camera that I reached for this morning as I poured coffee into a mug, pulled on hat and gloves, and grabbed the leash to walk the dog on a gloomy, grey January day.

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