You hear all the time in photography and especially in photojournalism that you should "always carry your camera with you". Absolutely. You should also be using that camera as often as you can!
If you have ever known an artist, you know they are constantly sketching in sketch books to keep their skills sharp, or just to doodle and get the creative juices going. The same is true with photography.
The weather finally got nice the other day (we have had rain pretty much since Christmas it seems) and I was itching to get out of the house to do - anything. I asked my daughter if she wanted to get out of the house with me and check the mailbox, and she was super pumped. We got our coats and boots (and camera!) on and headed out.
I don't let photography overtake my time with my kids (this is important) but I do always fire off some snaps. Think of it as digital sketching - you get to practice your composition and lighting skills - so when the time does come to grab an amazing photo, you're ready. In fact the more that you sketch with your camera, the more that the technical stuff becomes second nature and the less you have to think about it and you can focus more on your subject.
As you can see from the "contact sheet" there isn't really a heck of a lot of good shots here - until near the end when she wanted to help carry the garbage bins back to the house (leaving me free to take some photos). It was getting later then and the light had improved since we started out.
When you make the effort to "sketch" your camera, you never know what your going to get. I love this shot of my daughter - is it going in my portfolio? No, but it was a nice moment and I got to practice my skills.
I can also dig it out when she doesn't want to bring in the garbage when she is 15 :-)