Yesterday, I traveled with my sister to the Apple store in Charleston to get my battery replaced in my i-phone. Because I knew I wouldn’t have my phone to take pictures, and also because I was in Charleston, after all, I took my Nikon because I didn’t want to miss a photographic opportunity should one arise – especially with my “real” camera. The battery in my Nikon was almost drained so I took it out so I could put my spare in.

My sis and I pulled in front of the store at EXACTLY 12:25 – the time of my appt. She dropped me off in front, while she went to find a place to park. The tech in the Genius bar took my info and my phone and he said it should be ready in an about an hour. My sis entered the store without my camera – not realizing I wanted it while we walked to lunch. So, I had no camera of any type. As we walked, I had several impulses to reach for my camera, only to remember I couldn’t. So I contented myself to just look and not “touch.”

However, on the way back to the Apple store, there was a scene that I saw that I REALLY wanted to take a pic of. I asked my sister if I could use her phone to take it. She obliged. when I showed her she laughed at the whole scene – not just the marquee which was the first point of my attention.

Cougar Spirit©Kathryn Van Aernum

Cougar Spirit©Kathryn Van Aernum

As we arrived back at the store I went in and she went to feed the parking meter. I asked her to bring my Nikon back, thinking I could take one of a Coca-Cola subject that I also saw. (Some of you know my obsession with this). I went inside to retrieve my repaired phone. When they brought it out, they informed me that the new battery didn’t fix the issue. Since I was under warranty, they gave me a brand new one. Sweet! The only minor downside was that I STILL wouldn’t be able to use it because I would need to set it up when I got home by restoring my backup. No problem, sis was bringing my “real” camera back from the car.

She gave me the camera and I walked outside to get that other shot while she finished up a transaction. I turned on my camera. No power. I repeated. No power. Then I remembered that I took out the battery but never put the spare in it. I laughed, realizing the fates conspired to limit me to only one shot. As much as I know this is an excellent exercise to do, I hadn’t planned on undertaking it yesterday.

As you move through your week, think about what ONE picture you would take if that is all you could do.


This is one of the exercises we will be doing in my upcoming 4-week class at the Columbia Art Center, “The Contemplative Photographer.” The class is suitable for beginners, as well as more experienced shooters who want to enhance their photographic experiences. The maximum is 15. DEADLINE is this Wednesday, August 22. Click Here for more information. Registration form here.


Kathryn Van Aernum is a teacher, speaker and artist. In addition to her passionate interest in photography, she works with people who have buried their creative soul in the daily grind and helps them reclaim their creative confidence so they can thrive in their work and beyond. You can find out more about her coaching at her other location on the web: kathrynvanaernum.com