<p><em>Catherine Karnow is a San Francisco-based photographer whose work has appeared in</em> National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, <em>and other publications. She has been teaching photography workshops since 1995.</em></p><p>The wonderful thing about photography is that you can always pick up your camera and shoot in your own neighborhood. When I was at a crossroads in my career, considering being a filmmaker, I chose photography because I didn’t need a team of people to go and shoot—I could take my camera and go out on a weekend and shoot locally.</p><p>Think about creating a portrait of your neighborhood by shooting a variety of subjects that altogether make a cohesive gallery of images. You want your collection to have both visual and subject matter variety. Be sure to shoot nature, architecture, food, people, and cultural activities. Vary shots aesthetically as well: wide shots for landscapes, medium shots for street scenes. And don't forget people and details. Finally, shoot at different times of day to have a mixture of light: early morning, midday, and dusk.</p><p><strong>Go for a Ride</strong></p><p>I often find myself shooting in convertibles to show the simple fun of a car ride. Ask a friend with a convertible to drive, and get some willing subjects to ride with you. Sit in the back and shoot the road ahead, or sit in the front and turn around to shoot passengers having fun in the back. It’s a great way to show the scenery of your area. —<em>Catherine Karnow</em></p><p><a href="http://catherinekarnowphotoworkshop.com">Sign up for a workshop with Catherine »</a></p>

Convertible, Los Angeles

Catherine Karnow is a San Francisco-based photographer whose work has appeared in National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, and other publications. She has been teaching photography workshops since 1995.

The wonderful thing about photography is that you can always pick up your camera and shoot in your own neighborhood. When I was at a crossroads in my career, considering being a filmmaker, I chose photography because I didn’t need a team of people to go and shoot—I could take my camera and go out on a weekend and shoot locally.

Think about creating a portrait of your neighborhood by shooting a variety of subjects that altogether make a cohesive gallery of images. You want your collection to have both visual and subject matter variety. Be sure to shoot nature, architecture, food, people, and cultural activities. Vary shots aesthetically as well: wide shots for landscapes, medium shots for street scenes. And don't forget people and details. Finally, shoot at different times of day to have a mixture of light: early morning, midday, and dusk.

Go for a Ride

I often find myself shooting in convertibles to show the simple fun of a car ride. Ask a friend with a convertible to drive, and get some willing subjects to ride with you. Sit in the back and shoot the road ahead, or sit in the front and turn around to shoot passengers having fun in the back. It’s a great way to show the scenery of your area. —Catherine Karnow

Sign up for a workshop with Catherine »

Photograph by Catherine Karnow

Photographing Your Neighborhood

Get expert photo tips on capturing scenes in and around your own neighborhood.

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