I find that many photographers, especially the perfectionists among us, feel a huge pressure when it comes to their photography. Gaining good editing and photoshop skills, as well as pushing yourself creatively is an important part of becoming a better photographer, but when you start feeling perpetually unsatisfied with every picture you take, you start to lose the passion and love for the thing you love to do.
I’ve noticed this with my attitude towards my own photography, so I thought I’d share some tips to help you generate a little bit of heat between you and your camera.
Tips for getting your photo groove back:
Share your photos:
Never feel embarrassed to share your shots with others because you don’t think they are “good enough”. We are all at differing levels of ability from a day old shutterbug to Annie Leibovitz. And let’s face it, not every shot is destined for the front page of Vogue, so cut yourself some slack and don’t get caught up in negative feedback.
Criticism is never easy to take, especially with something as personal as photography, but learning from our mistakes is how we grow as photographers. By not sharing your photos you are not only preventing yourself from growing, but also shutting yourself off from receiving praise and encouragement from others.
Photograph something completely different
Sometimes switching up your focus can help reset your creative brain. Always shoot landscapes? Grab a portrait lens and photograph some humans. You must know a few. Take a beautiful naturally lit portrait out in a field of grass or by a lake. Take what you know about landscape photography and apply it to a portrait. You can achieve stunning results simply by placing a person in a landscape.
Don't miss a photo opportunity
The world has an annoying habit of producing amazing photo opportunities at the exact moments when you don't have a camera on you. I've learnt this the hard way by missing many magical moments: A double rainbow over a field of hay bales in the south of England, a golden magic hour backlit shot of wild Pronghorn antelopes in Jackson hole, and a perfect sliver of light shining between two glassy high-rises in downtown Vancouver illuminating a beautiful woman carrying a red umbrella. *sigh*
It may annoy your friends more often then not, and you will probably hear this phrase a few times: “Why do you take so many pictures all the time?” and possibly,“What’s so interesting about about that old storm drain anyway?” But you’re a photographer, that’s who you are, so keep that camera close and capture as many moments as you can. You never know when that double rainbow is going to spring up.
Networking with other photographers is one of the most motivating things you can do. So, put yourself out there a little and post a photo!