Great photographers are not born, they develop. The habits we form as beginners play a huge role in this overall development.
Being a newbie to photography can be quite overwhelming. Different people have different reasons for learning the trade, but there are many similar stages that we go through in the process. The journey to becoming a good photographer is filled with a lot of inspiration as well as a lot of frustration. Learning and practicing the craft has a lot of ups and downs amid all the challenges and obstacles.
These five tips are not the typical technical tips you find in books and photography workshops. While they don’t get released as often as they should be, these tips don’t directly lead you to becoming a great photographer, but should put you on the right track.
1. Be curious and explore
Whether you learn photography through workshops, courses, books, tutorials or simply self-study through experimentation, your curiosity dictates how far you will go. During the first months of learning photography, that is out of the question. However, as you learn more and start to be able to do a little more than just take a snapshot, there may come a point where you stop looking for new things to learn. Most people usually start learning photography without any gender in mind, which fuels curiosity quite well as it allows you to explore different types of photography until you narrow your interests down to a handful that you want to continue. To try.
However, some people go straight to a certain genre. While there is nothing wrong with that, one could skip the fun part of exploring other types and workflows of photography. Exposing yourself to different kinds of crafts can also be helpful for your growth as an artist. The discipline and skills you learn from trying other styles can exponentially increase your creativity in the long run.
2. Take pictures of what you love
There will come a time when the disappointment and frustrations of your trip might keep you from moving forward. It’s far too common, but most photographers survive it. However, if you have a deeper connection to the subject of your photographs, it can be much easier to pick up the camera after moments of desperation.
3. Use photography to get to know yourself
As photography takes more place in your life, observing yourself and seeing how your personality and behavior benefit your photography can be a very productive habit. As mastering photography comes with endless practice and repetition, you will be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses and observe how they affect you every step of the way in the creative process. It can help you identify certain aspects of yourself that you may need to work on to become a better photographer overall, or it can help you identify some non-negotiable limitations that may hinder you more significantly in a genre. than in another.
For example, if you are someone who is not comfortable talking and building relationships with a lot of people, this could be a hindrance for you in cases where you have to collaborate with a team. More often than not, this can be a hindrance in taking portraits when you need to direct your model in the pose and help her get the right facial expression. It is important to realize that your discomfort working with another person can also affect and lead to discomfort for them, which can directly affect your visual performance. The choice of what type of photography to focus on can be greatly affected by this.
On the other hand, it can also be the other way around. Photography can be a way for you to identify those personal limitations or obstacles and a motivation to improve them. Whether it’s for the love of photography or just to make you a better person in general, using photography to get to know yourself better and get to know yourself better will have huge positive effects on your life.
4. Drop your excuses
The excuses are tempting. Apologies are like some forbidden fruits for anyone looking to master a certain skill or trade. Of course, it stands to reason that we are all bound to make mistakes and have gaps in every effort. However, it all depends on how we look at these errors and limitations. The way we process and benefit from these experiences greatly affects how we progress as students of the trade.
In every creative process, many factors come into play, and most of them greatly affect the quality of our production. Photography isn’t just about pointing a camera and pushing a button; there are so many steps in the process that are invisible in the resulting images.
Logistics play a key role in every photographic exercise. Whether it’s setting up a studio, making sure all the equipment is working, or physically getting to a difficult location, the logistics typically take up the majority of the time spent on creating a photo. The physical factors work the same. Your physical condition as a photographer as well as that of anyone else you work with as a team affects the outcome of your image. On top of that, psychological and emotional factors can drastically shift tasks in a different direction.
There are a multitude of factors to blame when our images are not as satisfying to others or even to ourselves. However, the crucial part is how we view these factors for future projects. Any obstacle can be used to better prepare you for future tasks and ultimately help you avoid mistakes you have already made in the past.
5. Enjoy the process
The most important habit in learning to photograph is to find joy every step of the way. Learning the trade is best done with experience and repetition, and the inability to take advantage of these steps more often leads to burnout. The road to becoming a good photographer has many turns and dead ends. You will definitely come across a lot of mistakes, frustrations, and even failures. However, if you enjoy most, if not all of the steps in the creative and logistical processes of your photography, then it will be easier for you to rise up from the failure and frustration to try again the next day. If you really want to become a good photographer, maybe don’t take it too seriously.
Repetition and practice develop skills. Habits translate into work ethic and discipline. Photography is not about equipment, not just good images and an impressive portfolio. Who you are as a student, artist and person greatly affects your success.