Understand that less is more in photography
… especially in the age of social media. In other words, do not show, exhibit, or post everything. Choose only your best photos. Choose only the ones that really deliver the message. And make sure that your photos tell a story. The more interesting your photos are, the better.
Your photos should have meaning so it will stand out among the thousands of photos that are uploaded daily on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, among others.
Take “photography exercises” like the 100 paces technique
This is an exercise that will help you become more observant. All you need to do is choose automatic setting in your camera, take around 10 photos (different ones) of what’s around you and then go forward 100 paces and take an additional 10 various photos.
Do this exercise at least three or four times.
Another exercise, albeit a bigger one, is a photowalk. This is something that you can do every week. You can pick a theme for the week or you can go freestyle. Choose one area to focus on for each photowalk. For example, this week, you’ll be walking the whole length of your neighborhood park early in the morning. Next week, you’ll be going around the mall near your studio.
Other exercises you can do include:
blind shooting (taking photos without looking at the preview),
choose a number of photos from your favorite photographer and try to recreate them in the best way you can,
shoot in black and white (set camera in monochrome),
shoot after dark with no flash (to practice taking photos in low light), and
use a timer or remote shutter release to take selfies (to help you gain a better understanding of your photography and your subjects).
Join photography workshops
There are a lot of workshops offered in different areas throughout the year. You can go for specialty workshops (ex. one focused on landscape photography or fashion shoots) or go for a more general approach.
Joining a workshop will help you improve your skills, discover new concepts and ideas, and meet other photographers. It will help you grow not only as a photographer but also as an individual.
Take photos in places you don’t usually go to, such as a museum or the zoo.
You’ll find a lot of interesting stuff in a museum. And you’ll also learn how to appreciate art. You can take photos of all the art around you, as well as of the people who appreciate the exhibited masterpieces.
The zoo is an interesting photography subject because a lot of things are happening all at once. There are the zoo animals, the overexcited kids, the parents patiently following their kids, and many other subjects that tell a lot of stories.
Train yourself to believe that you are still a beginner…
… no matter how long you have been taking photos. The moment you decide to brush this thought off your mind is the moment you lose various opportunities to improve your craft and become even better at what you do. Always be willing to learn.
Always remember that photography is not about perfection. No photo is perfect. Ever.
When you become too focused on editing your photo and trying to make it look perfect, you lose the joy and meaning of photography and everything becomes a task, a job, or a chore. Photography should always be enjoyed. It should always be fun and delightful.
Do any or all of these tips and you’re sure to bring back the excitement and fun in your photography journey. All it takes is a little self-reflection and motivation, and you’ll be back on track in no time!