Are you stuck in a photography rut? Do you want to improve your skills but aren’t sure where to start? This post is for you! I was recently asked this question by a friend of mine and thought I’d share my thoughts.
My wife is really good at photography. I love the pictures she takes. But she doesn’t seem to pick up her camera for months and I want to inspire her and encourage her gifting. What did you do to motivate your self? What things did you do to encourage your gifting?
- THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO: Keep your camera out of the bag and in an easy to reach place. You will be much more likely to take pictures if your camera is accessible.
- Project 365: A project that challenges you to take at least one photo every day for a year. I completed my first Project 365 in 2014 and it was a very worthwhile and helpful experience. If that seems like too much you could do a Project 52, which is one photo per week.
- Daily Photo Challenges: There are many daily challenges that give you a prompt for inspiration. My favourite one is from Fat Mum Slim.
- Come up with your own project. I started The Most Important Thing project a few years ago to develop my portraiture skills. Take your passion and turn it into a documentary project.
- Go for a walk every day and bring your camera. Try to explore as many new streets and places as you can!
- Keep yourself accountable: share your images on social media and with your friends. People’s likes and comments always encourage me to keep going!
- Get a good editing program for your computer like Lightroom or Photoshop(I recommend Lightroom for beginners as it is more user friendly)
- Do free portrait sessions if you are interested in portrait photography. There is no better way to get better at portraits than just going and practicing! I gave so many free sessions when I was starting out and it definitely paid off! Offer a session for a family, a friend with a newborn, or a couple who just got engaged.
- Similarly, get involved in an existing project like Help Portrait in which you do a portrait session for someone in need. I plan to take part in this year’s event which is happening on December 3rd.
- Hire me! I am starting a portfolio review service in which I will review twenty of your best images and lovingly critique each one, helping you to know what you should work on and how you can improve. I am offering this service for $30 CAD right now! Contact me for more information.
Some other ideas you could try for a week or month:
- Shoot everything with one lens. If you only have one lens, consider buying or renting a new lens.
- Process everything in black and white.
- Take a picture of a stranger.
- Shoot everything at the lowest aperture your lens will go.
- Shoot at night with a tripod and slow shutter speed.
- Shoot everything that is colourful.
- Enter Contests – online, magazines, Jones Soda Labels… do a search!
One of the best things you can do is just bring your camera with you everywhere you go. I caught the following images because of slugging my camera around. Yes, it’s heavy and cumbersome, but it’s usually worth it 😉
What do you do when you’re stuck in a photography rut?