I get asked a lot of questions like, “what’s the most fun thing you’ve photographed?” or “what do you suggest I start photographing to learn photographer better?” or “where are some cool places to photograph?”
So, I decided to compile a list of what I think every photographer should do to get better or increase motivation to get off the couch. Keep in mind, I am still learning myself and these suggestions are what better ME. They may not work with everyone, but I think they are thought provoking all the same.
- Photograph what makes you uncomfortable – repeatedly. I say this because there are many things in life that make us uncomfortable and the reason they do is because we are afraid of the unknown. Chances are, by photographing something that makes you uncomfortable you could end up doing your best work. For me, it was photographing random people on the street up close. Really intimidating at first but once you get comfortable with yourself, no one will really notice you doing it.
- Travel. Doesn’t have to be to somewhere crazy, though that would be nice, but going to a place you haven’t been before can really inspire your creative genius to see things differently.
- Make an image using a historical process, such as a Daguerreotype. Now, I have yet to personally do this but I am hoping to sometime in the future. I feel like creating an image in the same way it was done over a hundred years ago will help to appreciate the craft more as well as understand it better.
- Pick your best image, the one that makes you feel like a real photographer, print it as big as you can afford to and hang it on your own wall. By doing this, I think it allows you to learn how to be positive about your work. So often people negatively critique themselves and only focus on what they did “wrong”. Sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder that we are all beautiful artists.
- Pretend that you are a tourist in your own hometown. This is pretty obvious. I live in Baltimore City and I even get bored there sometimes. So some days I go out with my camera and just kind of pretend I’ve never been before. Kind of weird, I know. But hey, I’ve actually noticed some things I had not.
- Use a broken camera. This probably sounds weird too but sometimes you can get some really cool images, like light leaks. All kinds of crazy stuff has been done with broken cameras, so get out there and experiment.
- Photography oddities over things that are “pretty”. We all love pretty things; sunsets, flowers, girls, cupcakes, etc. But what will really draw people into your photos are things they don’t normally see everyday. See something weird or out of the ordinary? Photograph it and make it your own!
I want to keep adding to the list, so help me out by leaving suggestions in the comment section below! I’ll add them in. I figured this would be a good start since everyone is going on winter break. Winter time doesn’t have to be boring! Have a great holiday everyone! If any one gets anything film camera related, please share