Self-reflection, in moderation, can be a good driver for creatives. Here are five questions that I think every serious photographer should not only ask themselves, but be prepared to answer.
1. Why are you shooting? Are you a story teller? Do you consider yourself a historian, preserving moments in time? Knowing WHY you are shooting is important. It could possibly control the outcome of any given shot.
2. Are you passionate about the subject(s) you photograph? Do you LOVE your subjects? Do they keep you awake at night? Is there something else you’d rather be shooting? If you’re not following your heart, then serious photography may not be for you. If you don’t care about your subject then it’s doubtful you’ll care about the photos.
3. Who are you shooting for? Are you shooting for yourself? Are you shooting for a boss who pays you? Knowing your audience can absolutely impact a photo. If you consider the audience, and balance their desires with your own, you usually end up with better images.
4. Do you make each shutter press count? Photography is like a time machine. It’s role in our lives is significant. Few things impact us like photography. Accordingly, are you making sure each image counts? Are you doing the best you can to preserve that moment or capture that instant in time?
5. Are you looking for permission to fail? Too many photographers; especially new photographers, seem to be looking for permission to fail. If only they had a new camera or better access to the models or better light to work with, all would be well. Sorry – it’s just like everything else in life. You have to want it. You have to work for it. You have to go for it.
You could probably very easily come up with an additional five questions for yourself. In fact, I’d recommend that you do. Ask yourself the hard questions if you really want to get somewhere with your photography – then go out and shoot.