Copyright Scott Bourne 2010 – All Rights Reserved

Everyone – and I mean everyone has a camera. So what can you do to stand out from the crowd? Here are five tips.

1. Develop your own style

Ever seen an Ansel Adams photograph and known it was by Ansel before you saw his signature? That’s because he had a certain style to his work that was immediately recognizable. If you develop a personal style, chances are it will set you apart as long as you’re consistent with it.

2. Photograph a niche

I photograph lots of things but primarily, I photograph birds. Before that I spent years primarily photographing wolves. While picking a niche may keep you from getting known by everyone, it will help you stand out amongst people interested in that type of imagery.

3. Shoot often and show the work

The photographers who shoot all the time and who post their work everywhere tend to get noticed. In fact, showing the work might seem like the most rudimentary advice here, but you’d probably be surprised to find out how many people don’t follow through with that. Show the work – show the work – show the work. If you are prolific (or at least appear to be) your photography will rise to the top.

4. Know your audience

If you’ve followed my advice to develop a style and fill a niche, you should have a pretty good idea who your audience is. This is key to standing out above the crowd and here’s why. If you know who your audience is you can shoot for them – NOT for the folks who will never see your work. Trying to please everyone is a recipe for failure. You can’t do it and you shouldn’t try. Try to please the people who like your work and stop shooting for the people who dislike it.

5. Be an original

It’s easy to think this means do something new. In fact that is the lazy person’s way of being original. What ends up happening is that people sacrifice quality in return for something new. It’s important to understand that being original doesn’t mean being new – it means being you! Be yourself. Show us what’s inside YOU. Don’t just copy the other shooters in your camera club. Ask yourself what really matters to you and go shoot that.

It’s not easy to stand out in a crowded field. And that is potentially a good thing. It helps to make sure that the best have earned their way to the top. If you apply these five tips you can rise with the rest of the best too.


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