Happy new year to everybody! I thought that seeing as it is a new year I would share some ideas with you that I found useful to help me be a better photographer. I hope the new year brings you lots of good light, decisive moments and great images!
1. Get out (or in) and shoot often. There is no substitute for practice. If you want to be a better photographer then set aside quality time on a regular basis to get out and photograph. Accept no excuses from yourself, if you miss a session then don’t beat yourself up about it just reschedule it.
2. Drink in the view. As photographers we are so lucky to get the opportunities to see what we do and visit interesting places so remember to drink in the view and savor it. This will help you relax, you know you make your best images when you are in a relaxed state, switch off the phone, chill out and enjoy looking around you.
3. Stop comparing your photography to other people’s. This is neither good or useful. You are the only person that can improve your own photography and comparing your work with the best photographer’s in the camera club only serves to make you feel bad and unmotivated. Celebrate your successes, enjoy the moment, remember how it felt. Make your self feel good about your own photography.
4. Learn from your mistakes. All those times when things didn’t work out are great opportunities to learn and improve. Before you delete your errors have another look at them and ask yourself what went wrong and how could I do this better the next time? Use your mistakes as feedback.
5. Take a course, attend a workshop, buy a book, read a blog. There are so many different ways to learn today. Dedicate yourself to continuously learning more about a subject that your passion knows no limits for!
6. Use your mobile phone. The best camera is always the one you have with so now you can practice anytime, any place, anywhere… There are so many mobile apps too that allow you to play & and have fun with.
7. Challenge yourself to make an image a day. No rules, no boundaries just take one image a day of anything that grabs your attention. This will get you into the habit of looking and being curious. You will see & notice more. Over time you will build up a fascinating documentary of your daily life too!
8. Show your work. Photography is better when shared so start a blog, start a Facebook page, a Flickr page. Use social media to show off your work to other people. Connect with other photographers and people who share your passion.
9. Print your images. There is no substitute for holding a print in your hands so print your images and enjoy seeing them on your wall, the reward for all that time spent in all kinds of weather and remind you why you do this.
10. Look at the work of other photographers. Get ideas from the work of others that can inspire your own, all art was inspired by or influenced by other art in some way. Build up an inner library of photography that you can draw on. There are so many resources available nowadays like galleries, photography books, magazines and the internet.
11. Refuse to give up. Be doggedly determined to get that shot, complete that project, finish that edit. Persistence will overcome any resistance so don’t get down, get back up, get back out there and keep going. Imagine how great it is going to feel when you finish!
12. Read your camera manual. Yes that’s right, that small, slim manual that came with it which will allow you to strip the camera down and reassemble it blindfolded…. well maybe not but knowing your equipment means that you can take that shot blindfolded if you need to!
13. Above all have fun! Taking your photography too seriously is detrimental to your personality as well as your creativity so enjoy getting out there and doing what you love!