I know we all wish there was that one magic tutorial which would take our photography to the next level. And we also get frustrated when we try a technique for the first time and it doesn’t go as planned. It would be great if things were simple, wouldn’t it?
But then everyone would be a great photographer. Improving your photography skills requires patience, curiosity, commitment, and persistence.
I may not be the best photographer out there, but I’m better than I was yesterday, and definitely not as good as I will be tomorrow. I set goals for myself and I work towards them every single day. Some days I make great progress, others not so much, but as long as I keep going I know I will get where I want to be, that is when patience comes into play.
You may not see changes in your work overnight, it can take days, weeks, or months. The easiest way to feel unmotivated is to compare your progress with others, so don’t do it. You do not know their circumstances, you can’t see what is happening in the background, and how many hours they are putting into learning and practicing to achieve their results. Don’t focus on things you have no control over, act on the things you can control, be patient and keep working, the results will come
Be curious, look what other photographers around the world are doing and get inspired. Searching for this type of inspiration will help with your creativity. It will also show you that the possibilities are endless. Look up tutorials or articles and find out how they do it. A little bit of curiosity goes a long way.
How committed are you to improving your skills? When I first started I made myself watch or read at least one tutorial every single day, I know that sounds extreme but when you are on a mission you do what you gotta do. It wasn’t always easy, some days I didn’t have the motivation to do it, but I still did it and felt great after I finished. Soon this daily action became a habit and the struggle turned into curiosity, my knowledge grew and my photography benefited each day.
I learned theory, but knowledge alone doesn’t create results, so I had to do photo shoots to put all those new things into practice and create photos just like I saw in the tutorial. In my head I knew how everything would work—light position, camera settings, etc.—but everything seems easier in theory. Even with all the knowledge I wasn’t able to get it right, that is where persistence plays a big part.
You have to practice, practice and practice more, you have to make mistakes and learn from them. The more you practice the more mistakes you will make and the more you will learn. Don’t be discouraged, be persistent and keep trying, eventually you will get it.
All these things take time. Being a great photographer does not happen overnight. It takes years, but we know that nothing worthwhile comes easy, and remember, small progress is better than no progress.
Now I challenge you to watch at least 3 tutorials every week and organize at least 2 photoshoots per month so you can put what you learn into practice.