Guest Post by Jason Anderson
More and more, I see people selling or promising ways to become a better photographer…buy this eBook (guilty), get this App (guilty!), watch this video (guilty!), or attend this workshop (equally guilty!). The truth of the matter is that these tasks are not what makes someone a better photographer. The only way to become a better photographer is through practice.
That’s right – it means taking photos. It means looking at your own photos. It means studying the photography of others. Find out what strikes a chord with you. Find out what tells a story to you. Then, learn how to express that story through photos – because that is what photography is all about. You don’t believe me? Ask any photographer that is truly “famous”. If you ask them what they did to become famous – they will likely all say “I didn’t focus on getting famous” at some point. The goal of photography is not to become famous. The goal of photography is in telling stories through your own images.
Whether that story is the beauty of a person (portraiture), the wonder of structure and design (architecture), the amazing detail of an eagle’s eye (wildlife, or even the grandeur of mountains, lakes, oceans, and the land (geography), it’s always about sharing that story or vision you have with the world. It’s not about becoming famous. The ones that seek fame will learn that fame is fleeting. It’s there briefly and then it’s gone. In order to be famous you have to really just forget the noise, dig in, and take photos.
Some have said that you have to spend 10,000 hours on a skill to really become proficient at it. Whether that skill is photography, gardening, sculpting, or anything – it takes time. That means forgetting the noise, dig in, and get your fingers dirty. If you are truly passionate about what you are doing, that will ultimately come through in your work. While you do have to have a voice, it helps to speak from the insight of having told a story. In other words, don’t shout from the rooftops of the world if there is no story. It also helps if the story is interesting, compelling, or can draw people in. But even if it isn’t – who cares, just make sure you have a story to tell.
Like these tips? Visit Jason over at his website for more useful tips, tricks, articles, insights and more on how to make and take better photographs!