Who listens to music while photographing?

Most of the time I just enjoy being in nature and hearing the sounds around me, but on occasion, I have gone out listening to music (earbuds of course) and it put me in a different state where I was exceptionally creative. I’m torn if I should continue this because I love hearing nature, but I really like the images I create as well. Thoughts?

I certainly have contemplated doing this also, make the creativity flow easier. Ron

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My son is convinced he shoots better images while listening to music. It’s an ongoing discussion.

Music affects your interpretation of what’s out there. I suppose if you have already made up your mind about how you feel about the subject it might be well to further motivate you. But, I personally like total silence in nature and let it speak to me from within. That is, I prefer to not be influenced by music.


I need to be listening to what is going on around me when I am out taking photos. Since I try really hard to be out there where the wildlife is, it’s important that I keep my eyes and ears open. Bears, moose… not a good idea to have a set of headphones on where I go. Besides, I really do prefer to just hear Nature. I listen to music in my Jeep while I am traveling, though!


I’m very fond of music, but while shooting I don’t listen to it and I echo Genny’s feelings. I do it very often while editing and processing images, but when doing serious kind of work. I find even music disturbing.

Jagdeep Rajput

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I’ve contemplated listening to some tranquil sounding music before, particularly jazz/lofi/ smooth r&b but I feel like I usually just get caught up with the scene in front of me and just forget about the music.

I DO listen to music when I’m editing though. I feel the creative juices flowing when I’ve got some great ambient music playing softly in the background.

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Living in a city and being an office worker, I don’t get to hear pure sounds of nature very often, so I don’t listen to music in the field. I used to listen to music when I was editing photos, but am finding recently that I sometimes focus better without music. I think if the task is tedious and doesn’t require a lot of deep thinking, music is great. If it requires a lot of focus, music distracts.


The music that nature provides is all I need or desire when I am out.

From a safety standpoint, anything that reduces hearing impedes situational awareness, especially when one’s eyes are concentrating on the viewfinder.

Even at camp, we have no music going, preferring instead the sigh of the wind in the trees.

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Sometimes, especially when I’m feeling super fired up or inspired by my surroundings, I sing to myself. Does that count?! :grinning: Listening to music while exploring the Great Outdoors would throw me off my game…I like to be completely in tune and dialed into nature with all my senses when I’m wandering. Plus, like @Preston_Birdwell indicated, I don’t for safety reasons…I’d like to not get eaten by a bear…


No, I want to be immersed in my surroundings when out in the field. When post processing however I can’t work without music.

Never while photographing - I just can’t concentrate, and as others I find the sounds of nature more appropriate to the setting. Often while processing, though.

I almost always process images with music, but I haven’t enjoyed listening in the field when I’ve tried. I like to hear the sounds (or silence) of nature when I’m shooting. It’s great if it works for you though! Just don’t get mauled by a bear because you had headphones on, okay?

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i typically don’t listen to music while shooting. when in crowded places i might put on my headphones during a hike to get rid of any human background noise.
i do enjoy listening to music while processing a lot - i don’t really use music for putting me in the mood though and i don’t think the type of music has any impact on my processing…

For me, only the “music” of nature - the birds, trees rustling, ocean waves, and - hopefully rarely - that bull moose crashing thru the brush in my direction.


No. I prefer the sounds of nature. As others have stated, it’s a safety issue for me as a wildlife photographer. In addition, there are audio cues from birds especially that tell me if an unseen animal is in the area. I get zoned out enough looking through the viewfinder so taking away my hearing would make me very nervous especially since I normally shoot alone.

Colleen, I would think your singing might calm the bear’s inner beast, making him putty in your hands! LOL.

I always have music on (quietly) during post processing, but like almost everyone here I prefer listening to just the sounds in nature while shooting.

Oh never tried this. I usually listen to podcasts while I’m out walking but turn them off when I start to photograph. I almost always listen to music during post processing though, I find things flow better.

The sounds (and silence) of nature are something that I never get to experience as often as I would like, so I would never listen to music while photographing or hiking. But when processing images, I always listen to jazz, I definitely think there is some synergy with processing to music.

While processing I turn it up to 11, but while I’m in the field… never. :slight_smile: