No, this is not another one of those hormone-induced love notes to chocolate. Bear with me here!
I’m in Washington DC for a business trip this week. The city is bustling with even more police and people because China’s president is here for a state dinner. While my business trips don’t typically leave much room for leisure, my boss and I took a stroll after eating dinner. (By the way…if you’re ever in DC and want some Thai food, the chicken panang at The Regent was ama-zing.)
We came across a small chocolate shop called biagio, which was hidden at the bottom of some side-street stairs. Here’s a photo of one of the many displays of chocolate they had.
There were so many different varieties to choose from, but I decided on this one. Any guesses on what flavor it was?
Give up yet? It was Peanut Butter and Jelly! Yep…that childhood favorite all bundled up into a crust of dark chocolate. It was ridiculously good. And it also inspired me more than I could have imagined at first glance. Here are 3 lessons I learned from this one piece of chocolate.
- Old can be revitalized into new. In this case, an old combination of peanut butter and jelly was made new in a piece of chocolate. This is great inspiration for photography. Shots of the same old subject or landscape can be taken in a fresh new way. Try this the next time you take a photo: shoot the subject in color, black & white, and digital macro and compare the three. Does the subject project the same emotion in each one? Or is it different?
- The unexpected can be exciting. This chocolate was not your run-of-the-mill boxed version. It took something familiar (PB&J) and packaged it in a way I was not expecting. This idea can also translate into photography. Try inserting something unexpected into your next photo. A colorful rain boot in your flower garden. Or maybe a rubber ducky in your bowl of oranges. I like to call these misfit photos.
- Experiment with what you know first. Peanut butter and jelly has been a well-loved combination since Adam and Eve. Ok, maybe not that long, but it’s been around a while. Why not take something you know you love and make modifications from there? It worked for chocolate and it can work for photography. I love taking digital macro pictures. I started out by doing just nature shots in this way, but soon discovered that experimenting with man-made subjects in digital macro is even more exciting. Take the photo technique you love the most and start experimenting. You never know what you’ll come up with.