Copyright Scott Bourne 1996 - All Rights Reserved

Copyright Scott Bourne 1996 - All Rights Reserved

If you want to be good at something, it just makes sense that emulating, studying, learning from photographers who do work you admire will give you a shot at improving.

I spent my early years as a photographer on the wings of several pros who were kind enough to patiently answer the 100,000 questions I had nearly EACH WEEK about photography.

By studying these established pros, watching how they work, when they work, what sort of gear they used, looking at their pictures, searching their images for ideas and strategies, I improved.

If you want to do the same thing, here are three tips to get you started.

1. Find a photographer(s) to study. You want to be a wedding photographer? Look at Clay Blackmore or Bambi Cantrell. How about a nature photographer? Art Wolfe. A photojournalist? Try Joe McNally. I could go on, but you get the point. Pick someone who’s work you admire, and set their standards as your goals.

2. Actually STUDY the work of the person you admire. What do they do that sells? Which of their pictures has won the most awards or generated the most controversy? What sort of subjects do they photograph?

3. Read books, attend workshops, go to photo meetups and discuss the methods, ideas and approaches you’ve used as a result of your study. Getting other photographer’s feedback will help you learn whether or not you’re achieving your goals.

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