Photo by Scott Bourne, Copyright 2000 – All Rights Reserved
1. Shoot with a project or goal in mind. On your next outing, ONLY make images that will help you accomplish your goal, no matter what you find.
2. Show your work to anyone and everyone you can and sit back and listen to what they say, right or wrong, good or bad.
3. Make at least one photograph every single day. PERIOD. No excuses. Even if all you do is photograph a beer bottle on your back porch, take that camera out of the bag, put a lens on it, make a shot.
4. Try a style of photography you’ve never been interested in, just to expand your vision. If you’re one of those people who say “I hate weddings,” then go shoot a wedding. If you usually shoot in a studio go outside. If you usually shoot outside, rent a studio. Try it.
5. Pay attention and focus. When you go out with your camera, do so with purpose and focus. Shoot without distraction. Be single minded about your photographic pursuits.
6. Look at lots and lots of pictures by other photographers you admire. Don’t just glance at them, actually study them and try to decipher how they did what they did. What worked and what didn’t.
7. Edit your work. Cull your photos. Pick the best 100 photos you’ve ever made and then set aside 50. Now take those 50 and weed out all but the 10 best. This is the starting point for your future efforts.
8. Attend a workshop, or go to a conference, or take a class. This will help open your mind, force you to concentrate on photography and provide you with access to great things to photograph.
9. Read a book called The Artist’s Way – pay strict attention to things like “artists dates” and the portion of the book that deals with expanding your tastes.
10. Slow down. Use a tripod even if you don’t need one. Think before you push the shutter. Ask yourself why the photo is important to you. Really take time to look through the viewfinder to make sure there’s nothing in the photograph that doesn’t need to be there. Remember less is more.