You don’t need talent to be a great photographer

Jan 15, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

You don’t need talent to be a great photographer

Jan 15, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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“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.

YouTube video

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]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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16 responses to “You don’t need talent to be a great photographer”

  1. Krzysztof Szyper Avatar
    Krzysztof Szyper

    My only hope ;)

  2. stewart norton Avatar
    stewart norton

    Great article and very true. I’ve seen people in photographic groups go from submitting very poor photos to stunning ones basically from getting help from the group , you tube and practice , practice , practice ! The last one is most important ! It is pointless watching hours and hours of tutorials and not putting into practice. Some people naturally have the “eye” and I’m guessing they get good quicker but if given time and by putting in the effort I think anyone can get to a good level.

  3. Dimitris Servis Avatar
    Dimitris Servis

    Yep. You only need expensive gear, an iPhone, a Mac and Instagram.

  4. Arunas Staponas Avatar
    Arunas Staponas

    Mmmm… nope….

  5. Hugh Mobley Avatar
    Hugh Mobley

    I disagree 1000% someone does to know what the hell they are talking about!!

    1. Hugh Mobley Avatar
      Hugh Mobley

      this is exactly why this is total BS! A frikin camera whether its $1000 model or a $10,000 model puts oput the same GRAY 50% SHIT unless the 12 inches behind it knows what to do!!!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDu6Rn6YuFw

  6. Paul Willy Brown Avatar
    Paul Willy Brown

    You must have a really good camera to be creative.

  7. Laura Geco Avatar
    Laura Geco

    Read the article people….

  8. Jasmijn Decuyper Avatar
    Jasmijn Decuyper

    Depends on what you think is a great photographer. I know tons of photographers who can technically take good pictures (properly exposed, sharp, decent framing), but their work lacks vision and creativity. It IS about talent. It’s about having an eye for composition, subjects, light and using all of that in a creative way and seeing more than the average photographer. I agree that lots of things can be taught but am definitely convinced that talent plays a greater part than a mere 1%.

  9. Sergi Yavorski Avatar
    Sergi Yavorski

    Do not abuse the word “great”.

  10. Вергунов Сергей Avatar
    Вергунов Сергей

    You need to have proper connections. Talent is optional.

  11. Ken Weil Avatar
    Ken Weil

    HAHAHAHAHA BULLSHIT!

  12. Leslie Hoerwinkle Avatar
    Leslie Hoerwinkle

    Stevie Wonder is a pretty good photographer.

  13. Richard Maxwell Avatar
    Richard Maxwell

    Disagree ? whoever wrote that statement needs certified.

  14. Dus Ro Avatar
    Dus Ro

    in this form its not true. talent always has an advantage over hard work because its added to it. talent only is not enough in most cases but if someone has to work 99% then its simply not the activity he is meant to do

  15. R.IR.I. Avatar
    R.IR.I.

    I think I will apply this to my skiing.