In everything you do in life, there’s always room for growth and improvement. Photography is no exception. However, there are times in life when we feel like we’re stagnating and not getting any better, and it may be difficult to figure out why. What’s stopping us from becoming better? What can we change? In this video, Saurav Sinha gives you five possible reasons why you’re not improving as a photographer. Do you feel any of these applies to you when you feel like you’re stagnating?
1. Lack of practice and patience
Photography is a form of art. And just like any other form of art, it requires lot of theoretical learning along with lots of practice. There’s constant trial and error, and you should always be aware of that. No matter how experienced you are, there’s always something new to learn, and it may be frustrating at first. You may feel like you’re not going forward, but remember –acquiring new knowledge and skills takes practice, it takes time, and you should be patient about it. Nothing comes overnight.
2. Focusing too much on camera gear
As you’ve probably experienced, people often ask “what camera/lens did you use?” when they see an awesome photo you took. It’s one of those annoying things people say to photographers. While most of them aren’t aware that it’s not the gear what makes a good photographer, it’s definitely something that you should be aware of. Having the latest camera or the most expensive lens won’t make you a better photographer, and it’s not what makes good photos. Remember that, and focus on what really matters.
3. Not analyzing your own work
In a recent post, we discussed why it’s important to analyze your own work, especially your bad photos. When you come home and see your images on a computer, you may not like them. The first instinct might be to delete them immediately. But instead, use them as learning material.
Take the photos you don’t like and analyze them. Think about why you don’t like them and what you could better next time. If there were other photographers shooting with you, you can ask them to see their photos too. See what you like in them and think about what you could improve next time. Finally, you could also ask others to help you analyze your work and tell you what could be better.
4. Not sticking to a style
In this day and age, it’s close to impossible to be absolutely unique. But it doesn’t mean you can’t find your own style. It takes devotion, some thinking and planning, and lots of experimenting. It takes a lot of time, and therefore a lot of patience, too.
However, it could be tempting to adapt to ever-changing photographic styles popular on social media. They change every couple of months, and you may want to adapt to them in order to quickly become recognized and popular. But it’s not what you should strive for. Likes and comments on Instagram are not what raises the artistic value of your images.
So, look for your own style. And once you’ve found it – stick with it. It’s okay to experiment and to adapt it a bit, of course. But don’t let social media trends dictate these adaptations and tell you what your photos should look like.
5. Not getting out of your comfort zone
Although it may sound contradictory to the previous point, stepping out of your comfort zone is what pushes you forward and helps you grow. Yes, you should stick to your recognizable style, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment with other genres. For example, if you shoot landscape, you could try photographing other things found in nature. Try wildlife or macro photography, for example. And of course, you can experiment with any other genre, too. The point is that you can’t know what you’re capable of until you try something new.
The bottom line is – be devoted, never stop learning and experimenting, and never stop challenging yourself. At the same time, be patient and allow yourself to make mistakes.
Now tell me, have you ever felt like you’re stagnating? What do you think was the problem? Do you recognize yourself in any of these points?