My post last week sharing 10 ways you could improve your photography without buying gear was so well received (i.e., it’s the most popular post ever at Photofocus other than camera giveaway announcements) I decided to add to it. So here are five MORE ways you can improve without buying gear.
1. Keep a diary or a journal. If you see something that interests you, jot down a note about it. If you see a photo you really like, tear it out of the magazine and tape or staple it to the journal. If you start working through what has and has not worked for you while trying to improve your photography, write it down. There’s something about the act of writing it that makes it more valuable and more real.
2. Think before you shoot. In fact, spend more time thinking about a shot than you do actually MAKING the shot. If you don’t spend time applying some critical thinking skills to your work, you’re probably not even coming close to your potential. Thinking through and working through problems makes you stronger. This is another place the diary comes in handy.
3. Associate with and study the work of, successful photographers whom you admire. This may seem like a simple thing, but I am often surprised how few people do it. When I was a teenager, I hung around Jack Jason Russell. He wasn’t famous but he was a lifelong photojournalist, working for a major newspaper and spending time with him rocketed me to success that I would have never known if I’d just bought a good camera and went shooting.
4. Set priorities. What’s more important – spending time shooting or watching football? What projects are languishing because they need to be finished and how is this impacting your future work? Decide what you need to work on most RIGHT NOW and focus on that. Solve that problem before you take on a new one. Them move on.
5. Be grateful. Every day write down at least five things you are grateful for. This is a superb way to open up the creative mind and to simultaneously flush out the bad stuff that stifles your creativity.
It’s funny how little gear has to do with becoming a great photographer. The fact that I say that often here probably has something to do with why we never have a camera sponsor :)
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