“Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work.” Does this mean you can become a great photographer even if you don’t consider yourself talented? Yes, you can. Photographer Manny Ortiz firmly believes this and shares some tips to help you become a great photographer, no matter how (un)talented you may be.
You know those people who have natural talent. They pick up the camera, learn the basic settings and start taking great photos. In my family, my brother is one of those people, although I am the one who’s actually interested in photography. According to Manny, he’s never been among those naturally talented folks. He admits he’s “never had a creative bone in his body,” but he still managed to become a good and successful photographer. I bet you know the answer how – he worked his butt off.
Five years ago, Manny bought a Canon Rebel T3i because he wanted to start a new hobby. Before that, he hadn’t been interested in photography. But, he got bitten by the creative bug and wanted to learn more. He started exploring, learning and practicing, and he’s made notable progress. He shares three things that helped him along his journey, which can help you, too.
Don’t compare yourself to other photographers
It’s good to be inspired by other photographers, but don’t compare yourself to them. When you compare your beginner photos against those taken by photographers who have been taking pictures for years you’ll just lose motivation. You may think you’re not good enough and that you’ll never be. Instead, avoid this feeling by regarding other people’s work as inspiration, but don’t try to be as good as them immediately. It takes time to perfect your skills.
Take advantage of “YouTube University”
YouTube is a “university” that lets you learn pretty much anything for free. Manny mentions some of the people who got him started and taught him a lot, such as Kai Wong, Matt Granger, and Adorama’s Gavin Hoey and Mark Wallace. Of course, there are many more fantastic channels that can help you learn and get inspired. If you like, you can check out DIYP’s Tutorials section, too.
Practice your butt off
Remember the “99% hard work” part? That’s right, you have to practice, practice and practice some more if you want to become a good photographer. But it goes for anything in life, really. When it comes to photography, there’s probably nothing you can’t learn. If you’re struggling to “see” things as a photographer, even that can be achieved through practice. So, go out there and shoot, put everything you learn into practice and don’t be afraid to make tons of mistakes.
I’ll pop an extra tip here: if after a while you think you haven’t improved, just compare your photos from, say, a year ago with those you’ve recently made. You’ll see how much you have improved and you’ll feel eager to go on learning again.
To conclude, even if you think you don’t have the talent for photography – with learning and practice you can get there. You might need to work a bit harder, but it will pay off.
[You don’t need TALENT to be a GREAT Photographer! | Manny Ortiz]