7 Ways to Discover Your Photography Strengths

April 03, 2018

7 Ways to Discover Your Photography Strengths

Do you love photography, but haven't been able to "get over the hump" and achieve your goals? Have you failed to capitalize on the vast reservoir of creative potential that you believe is lurking within you? Are you willing to see how far you can go?

There are many variables that influence the quality of a photograph, and the odds are against giving maximal effort each day, because, let's be honest, learning new skills can be tough and time-consuming! However, the benefits you can reap from giving it your all can be well worth it.

What have you dreamed of mastering?

Do you want to become a master of composition? Is understanding camera settings what's holding you back? Do you not feel confident in your artistic abilities? Or are you dreaming of photography as a new career?

With these tips, you can set your worries aside and learn how to become a better photographer sooner rather than later.

Reach your full potential and discover your photography strengths with these strategies:

  1. Focus. Life is too short to reach your potential trying to master multiple pursuits. Limit yourself as you learn about photography if you want to reach a high level of mastery. Spend some time focusing on nothing but learning how to use your camera. Then spend some time learning about composition, and then lighting, and so forth. Patience is a key to long-term development. By "chunking" your learning into compartmentalized tasks, you can actually learn more, and faster!

  2. Understand that progress comes quickly at first and then slows. After a year of practicing photography, you’re a lot better than you were on day one. But, most likely, you’ll barely be better after nine years than you were after eight. Still, progress is progress, and it will take time!

  3. Set goals. Have both long-term and short-term goals. Short-term goals are the pathway to your long-term goals. For example, a short-term goal to learn about aperture, shutter speed, and ISO will help you achieve your long-term goal of learning how to shoot in manual mode. If you have loftier pursuits, like establishing yourself as a professional photographer, a short-term goal might be to learn effective marketing strategies for photographers as a means of accomplishing your long-term goal of establishing a successful photography business. Set goals and do something each day to make those photography goals come to life!

  4. Open yourself up to criticism. If you want to be the best photographer you can be, it’s necessary to become a person that values creativity, boldness, and a willingness to expose your work to scrutiny. It's hard to present your work to other people to criticize, but getting constructive feedback from other photographers will only help you learn and grow. Just be cautious of where the critique is coming from, because we all know, “everyone’s a critic” The feedback I consider valuable  is when it comes from those who really know their stuff and prove it by the quality of work they create.

  5. Practice every day. There’s no other way to become a better photographer. Regular, intentional practice is the key to maxing out your potential. It must become an integral part of your life. Even if you only have 15 spare minutes a day, fill that 15 minutes with learning about photography and practicing your craft.

  6. Find a mentor. Even the best athletes have a coach. Whether you want to be a portrait photographer, a landscape photographer, or something in between, a mentor can take years off your learning curve. Imagine the difference between learning to play the guitar on your own and having an expert guide you each day. The same holds true for photography!

  7. Embrace change. Greater skill, and then mastery, are forms of change. The average adult hasn’t changed over the last decade, aside from getting older. You must be willing to change to reach your potential. Be excited by change and learn to enjoy it. Find new ways to express your creativity in your photos. Find alternative perspectives and points of view. Give different post-processing workflows a try. You never know when you might try something new and find that it completely changes you as a photographer, and for the better!

Whether you want to become a professional photographer or just enhance your skills to take better photos, the solution is the same. The only difference is the degree to which you pursue it.

These strategies will help you reach the height that you desire in whichever aspect of photography that you decide to pursue. And along the way, you'll develop essential skills that you can use and perfect to your approach to photography, be that taking an individual photo or establishing a business or something in between.

Set your goals, focus, find a mentor, and practice each day. Even if you don’t become the next Ansel Adams or Annie Leibovitz, you’ll find new achievement, meaning, and fulfillment in your life by following these simple strategies.

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