I always find something around me to inspire. I am always inspired by the natural shapes of fruit, flowers, plants, trees, bugs and animals. I always find a wealth of inspiration in Costa Rica. There is rich vegetation where ever you look. I use my Samsung device to take photos of these inspirations.
I like to take photos on my Samsung S8+. (Samsung takes great clear photos!) Some times the photos are for the sake of the photographic element and composition, some times for the sake of the memory, some times for Facebook / social media, and sometimes for the idea it gives me for a painting or a design element or a color scheme. Painting from nature or live subject matter is always preferable but not always possible. To paint “en plein air” is glorious but not always possible or convenient. One does not always have the time to paint on site or out of doors. It is very cumbersome to drag all your equipment and paint supplies with you but when you can, it does pay-off. To be outdoors and paint what one sees, one is able to capture subtleties in the lighting, details of shape and line, depth, and colors, and serendipitous occurrences. These things cannot be completely duplicated in the studio.
By example, one time at an exhibit of Impressionist Art that I went to, 2 paintings by Monet were displayed. One had been painted at the sea shore and the other at the studio. The difference was notable. The one painted at the sea shore was bright and fresh looking, capturing the mood of the day. The one painted in studio was much more somber and static.
That being said, I do take a lot of photos with a watercolor in mind. Watercolors can be so fluid and incidental and serendipitous that they can be fresh and bright without necesarily being totally representational.