This is simple, short advice that has served me well. If I have ever made an image that didn’t rock my world, I found the simplest and surest way to solve that problem was to do it again.
This won’t work for lots of categories like weddings, one-time sporting events, etc. But if you are making a product shot, illustration, fine-art nude, landscape, or anything you can repeat, go back and try again.
I know this is incredibly simple but I’ve seen countless photographers make an image at a place like Reflection Lake on Mt. Rainier, then act as if that was it. Never again. Whatever they have they have.
You can go back again!
Chances are you’ll see something that second time that you missed the first. Maybe there’s a tree that would make a nice framing element or maybe you realize the angle from down low near the pond is better. Chances are you’ll make a better image the second time around.
Give your eye a chance to refresh. Writers do this all the time. They write copy and then walk away. They revisit it – sometimes several times, until its right. A fresh set of eyes – even if they are your own, will often do the trick. So budget additional time, go back and try it again. I bet you get a nicer image the second time around.