I believe that we all want to grow and become better at photography. But we also make some mistakes that hinder this growth and make it slower than it could be. In his latest video, Michael Shainblum shares the five most common mistakes that might be slowing down your growth. While he focuses on landscape photography, some of these can definitely be applied to other genres as well.
1. Not getting to know your landscape
The mistake I know I’ve been guilty of is rushing things. I get to the location, set up the tripod, get the shot, and move on. Michael points out that getting to know your landscape is crucial to make better photos of it. Instead of just rushing in, spend some time relaxing there. Enjoying the landscape, and you’ll notice much more about the place and realize what exactly you want to say about it in your images. Michael compares this to making a new friend, and I really like this comparison. Just like getting to know a new person, getting to know your landscape also takes a little time.
2. Shooting everything wide
We’ve already talked about how telephoto lenses can improve your landscape photography. Landscapes are often shot with wide-angle lenses, there’s nothing wrong about it and it looks awesome. But, it shouldn’t be the only choice and you should give longer lenses a chance.
3. Letting others control your art
If you share your photos on social media, you share them with a bunch of people. And people love to share their opinions on everything. In other words, many folks will tell you what they would have done differently in the photo.
But don’t fall into this trap: it’s your art, your creations, and stories that you want to tell. Do take constructive criticism and feedback of course, that’s something else. But be careful not to turn your art into what you think others want to see. Because people actually want to see your creative vision no matter what it looks like from some comments you receive.
4. Comparing your work to others
This can be very difficult not to do, and I believe most of us still do it. After all, we see so many images every day and there are so many great photographers out there. Seeing some of their work, you may think “I’ll never be able to take photos like this.” But you have to remember: everything takes time and lots of practice.
You’re on your own photographic journey, not someone else’s. And as long as your more recent photos are better than the older ones, you’re good! And also, after a while and enough practice, you’ll be able to take those photos you never thought you would.
5. Not getting help when you need it
It’s incredible how difficult it is for some people to ask for help when they need it. I know that because I was like that until recently, and I’m still learning not to be someone “who can do everything on her own.” You should always ask for help when you’re struggling with something or when you just need a second opinion about your work. You can always reach out to your photographer friends to help you out. Alternatively, you can turn to a photo community, there are many awesome people ready to help you when you need it.
[5 MISTAKES that will KEEP you from GROWING as a Photographer | Michael Shainblum]