Did you know that the worse you are at photography, the more likely it is that you think you’re great at it? It’s a cognitive bias in psychology called the Dunning–Kruger effect. Here’s an inspiring 9-minute video by photographer Jamie Windsor on how you can avoid falling into this common mental trap and actually become a better photographer.
“If you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent,” Dunning writes. “The skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is.”
Windsor shares this psychological phenomenon as a warning to photographers since accurately assessing your own photography abilities can help you better judge “what work to take on and how far to push yourself.”
Here’s a quick rundown of the 5 tips Windsor gives for how you can avoid stagnating due to the Dunning–Kruger effect (watch the video to hear him elaborate on each one):
1. Beware of feeling comfortable.
2. Learn to let go of old work.
3. Ask for feedback from good photographers.
4. Always keep learning.
5. Understand that feeling bad about your old work is a sign that you’re moving forward.