In this day and age, how do you make sure that you are taking steps in improving as a photographer? Photography is a complex hobby and profession that requires you to always be updated with the current trend so as not to be left behind.
They say we can never really master one “thing”. Even the monks in their temples spend their lifetime practicing every day. Despite that, they still don’t call themselves masters or experts. Relating that to photography, what are you doing every day to improve as a photographer?
This is quite easy to answer, doing at least one thing for your profession a day is reassuring that you are indeed doing something to improve in your craft.
But, how about if we turn it the other way around? What if we ask you what you are doing that is stopping you from improving as a photographer? You may be actively doing things to improve every day, but if you are doing any of these five things that we have compiled for you, then all may be in vain.
Laziness to Practice and Lack of Patience
Let’s dig deeper into photography. In this field, there are the technical aspect and the creative aspect. For the technical part, you can read all the books you can, you can watch all the videos you can, you can buy all the lessons you can to learn everything you can about the technicalities of the field. However, if you don’t go out and actually practice what you know, then you’ll never be able to practice your knowledge much less improve in the field.
For the creative side, in reality, nobody can teach you this. This is the one aspect of your profession that only you can develop and improve. Now if you don’t practice regularly and you are not patient enough, then you won’t be able to develop and improve as a photographer.
Giving too much Focus on Camera Gears
Blaming your camera gear as the reason why you can’t take the number one photo is a toxic mindset that some photographers fall into. It’s easy to get discouraged when you see photos that you think are better than yours. When you see that the other photographer has better gear than you, then you get more discouraged.
Here’s a newsflash for you: Better gear won’t give you better photos.
Like what was mentioned above, constant practice is what can give you better photos. If your photos are not good now that your gears are cheap, you won’t get any better photos even if you buy premium gears tomorrow.
What makes photos good is the composition and the ability of the photographer to tell a story. These can be achieved with practice and patience, not expensive gears. Gears can help, but they don’t dictate the overall beauty of your photo.
To help you improve as a photographer, you should stop thinking about the camera gear and the filters that were used by other photographers. You should start thinking about what photography is for you, and what the thought process is when taking a picture. They say a picture can paint a thousand words. Therefore, a truly beautiful photo is the one that tells a beautiful and heartfelt story.
Not Analyzing Your Work
Have you ever gone to a location to take photos that you are sure you would love? Only to find out when you get home that you don’t like all the photos that you have taken. Most photographers would just delete and sulk in their bedroom all night. Some would even go to other photographers’ pages and be jealous of how beautiful and so much better their photos turned out to be.
But wise photographers would not do any of these. A wise photographer who is focused on improving their craft will sit down and list all the things that he didn’t like with his photos. Instead of just deleting the photos you don’t like, sit down and list all the reasons why you don’t like it, also try to answer what you can do to improve the things you do not like.
Another thing you can do is to stop being jealous of other photographers’ photos and start analyzing. List all the things that make their captures better than yours. You can also assess how you can change yours to be better.
Despite your effort, you can’t really blame yourself if some photos turn out bad. Maybe it’s about time to learn the secrets of color grading and photo manipulation. Because just like the old school, you need to develop your photos to print. And editing your photo is important for photographers in this digital age.
Not Having A Style And Just Aiming To Trend
One mistake that other photographers make is running too much after a trend just to gain followers or traction. This can result in temporary fame but can make your own style suffer.
Sticking to a style that is truly you can be hard to push through at first, but once you stick to it and strive to improve, you’ll be a better photographer. Better than those who only follow the trend, that is.
If you find yourself constantly changing your style to meet society’s taste and aim to be trending on social media, then maybe it is time to reassess your end goal.
In a couple of years, when people hear your name, what would you like them to think about? If you keep on moving on to what is trending, then it will be hard for people to distinguish you from the crowd. One good way to improve as a photographer is to make sure to develop your own style and grow into it. Until your name is associated with the style and people will naturally follow you.
Not Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Remember as a kid when you have that cuddly little stuffed toy? Or that security “blankie” that you cannot leave without? These comfort things give us the shelter that we need so we feel safe.
In photography, there is also what you call the comfort zone. At one point in your career, you will be faced with dilemmas of whether to try a new style or do something you have never done. Most of the time, we just shrug them off because we are already contented with what we are now.
This is one reason why you might not be improving. If you restrict yourself from trying out new things and going out of your comfort zone, then you are robbing yourself of the new ventures and improvement you can get.
There you go, here are the five things that might be stopping you from improving as a photographer.