HOW DO YOU SERIOUSLY BECOME A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER?
IF I ASKED YOU THIS QUESTION, MOST OF YOU WILL PROBABLY TELL ME A FEW ANSWERS AS TO WHY YOU DON’T BECOME A SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHER. WHAT IS A SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHER IN THE FIRST PLACE? IS IT A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER? MAYBE! IS IT A PHOTOGRAPHER THAT WHEN HE OR SHE GOES OUT AND TAKES PICTURES, EVERY ONE OF THEIR PICTURES COMES OUT GREAT? IS THAT WHAT A SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHER IS? WHAT KEEPS YOU FROM CREATING GREAT PHOTOS? THAT IS THE QUESTION THAT WE WANT TO DISCOVER TODAY.
YOU HAVE SEEN ALL THE BASIC TOPICS OF HOW TO TAKE GOOD PHOTOS. THE COMPOSITION TECHNIQUES, UNDERSTANDING THE DETAILS OF YOUR CAMERA: SHUTTER SPEEDS, APERTURE SETTINGS, AND ISO SETTINGS, ETC. SO, THEN YOU GO OUT AND TAKE PICTURES AND YOU LOOK AT THEM AND YOU GO….. BLAHHH! I DON’T LIKE MY PHOTOS! HOW CAN I TAKE PHOTOS THAT PEOPLE WILL WANT TO SEE, OR HANG ON THE WALL, OR EVEN BETTER: PAY FOR?
1- Confidence –
I don’t care who you ask that is either a self proclaimed professional, or a just a good serious photographer, they will all tell you the biggest hurdle you must overcome is gaining confidence in yourself. Whoa, that is a big one. So, how do you do that? Well, you do that by doing the things you do know, and focus on that, and run with that. Say you know how to take pictures of your kids really well. All of your pictures you take of your kids seems to be just amazing. So, why not look at photos of other photographers that take pictures of kids, and try that even more on your own, and you will perfect that subject until you are really, really good. Now, you are starting to develop confidence, because you will find that others will notice the great work that you do. The one thing I really loved doing when I was starting to take photos in the beginning was that I loved taking close-ups of anything, and I got really good at it.
Find out what you love to do, and keep doing it until you have the confidence in that subject.
2- Develop a new style of your own from what you love to do.
Now that you found that you are good at this one subject, what you will find is that you are taking pictures just like another photographer. This is the time to do some experimenting, and develop a style that is unique to you. I think of the person who took baby photos for a long time and then decided that they would put these newborn infants in a large Santa Sock. How unique is that, and then everybody wanted that photographer to take a picture of their new baby in the new Santa sock. And a new tradition and style was born. So, as you take pictures of your kids, think of something that is unique to you, the posing, the place you take of your kids, the way you take them, maybe using a filter to do it, or whatever, think about something that sets you apart from the other photographers. And then practice, practice, and practice. Take pictures several times a week, then increase it to daily if you can. Then you will not go anywhere without your camera. Then you will get into the habit of looking for opportunity. And that brings up the next step:
3- Action conquers Fear:
This is a simple thing to think about: The more you do, the more you conquer your fear. I am friends through Facebook of a photographer who decided to set a goal to take a photo every day and post his daily photo in a “LIKE’ page he created himself. Now, could you post something every single day? The name of the “Like” page is: 366daysphoto. (There is an extra day in 2016). If you want to check it out, you should do so. Force yourself to do something crazy like that and then try to find something to take pictures of every day. You will get good.
Obviously, the point of this subject is to practice, because that will conquer the fear that you may have in taking pictures. Ahhh, but you are thinking: what if I am no good? Then that brings up the next point:
4- You must continue to study and learn from good photographers or good learning sites.
I love my doctor. It amazes me the knowledge he has about medicine. The interesting thing is that he graduated from medical school over 25 years ago. How does he keep up to his trade? By continuing to study and learn from people in his field. And so should you. That is the one reason this blog exists. And that is why I continue to use articles from photographers other than myself. I let you know as I put forth these articles who the authors of these teaching articles are. I have several articles here myself, and I hope you all learn from these people. Read and study from these people and find out the details of how they took those photos. Even now in my weekly “Photos of the Week” I am commenting a lot of how the photos are taken. So everyone can learn how they are taken, if I can figure it out. But, I study each photo carefully to try to figure out how that photo or photos were taken. In order to get better, to gain the photography excellence you want, you must continue to learn from other photographers. I have on my Facebook friends list, a bunch of professional photographers, friends I have met and worked with before. And these are people who I can still learn from today. (Thanks everyone). So, when I go and take photos, I will remember what I have been taught by these people.
5- There are countless Facebook groups and “Like” pages to associate with to get feedback on your own photos.
After you have gone through some of the above steps, then you are ready to become associated with groups that have the same interest as you on Facebook or Twitter, or Pinterest. There are groups that you can submit your photo and ask for critique. People on those groups are very nice, and do not belittle you. They want to help you become even better. Actually, when you get to that point, you will be amazed at the work you will see, and how well you really are doing.
Here are a few “LIKE” pages I think you should affiliate with to learn by, and associate with:
* Street Photography
* Wonders of Nature
* Excell Photos
* Pentax Forums
* Digital Photographer magazine
* Popular Photographer magazine
Then if you would like to join some groups that you could have some of your photos judged by others:
* 100% Free Photos
* Life in Black And White (if Black and White photography interests you)
* Photo Nerds Universtiy
I am sure I have missed some. But, these are some that I am familiar with as of this writing. And I am sure I will join more myself. But, try to join these LIKE pages and groups just so you can continue to learn and get better information, and “rub shoulders” with other photographers.
6- Take your camera everywhere
Take my camera everywhere? Everywhere? Really? Yes, if you want to be good, you will. I have a camera in my car always, wherever I go. You never know when you will see someone, or something that you just have to have your camera. On the street, some interesting face: “can I take your picture, please?” You have to just have that camera ready. The perfect sunset. Oh, I wish I had my camera. A car accident that you just witnessed…. you could be the one to provide the attorney’s with the best photos of the accident scene. “Road Rage”…. you can flip you camera to video and get something recorded for the police. They say there is always someone somewhere with a camera. It might as well be you.
7- Re-shoot old photos.
This is my favorite part. Take a look at some of your first photos you took.
Now, take some time and see if you can take it over. What would you do different? Is there anything wrong with what you did? How would you correct it? Could you get some tips from another photographer to help you? Or, by the time you get to this step, is it obvious now? That is what I am hoping for. So, take a look at some of your old photos and do them over and see how much you have improved. You will be amazed to see how that will boost your confidence.
So, that is it. If you have more questions about photography, stay on this blogsite, because there is new information almost daily. I am trying to cover photo tips for the new photographer as well as the more advanced photographer. So, you can learn it all right here.
“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”— Karl Lagerfeld
This article written by: Lanny Cottrell