I was recently having a conversation with a good friend, and he asked me what the five mistakes are I think most photographers make. It was a tough question because I’m not sure that all photographers make the same mistakes. But it did get me thinking as he pushed me more and more, what were the five things in my photography that I think moved my creative process forward. As seen I continue to talk I came up with the following list:
- understanding your learning style
- not knowing your gear
- diversity in photography
- history and photography
- following your voice
Five Key Areas of Focus
When we talk about learning styles, I think most people need to realize what their actual learning style is. If you learn by seeing or kinesthetically or by listening, you need to follow your personal learning style so you can absorb as much information as possible in a way that makes sense to you. I think one of the failings we have in our education system is that we force people into a single learning style that is not comfortable for them. As adults, we have an opportunity to push that boundary and make sure that were getting information in a way that makes the most sense to us.
A lot of photographers talk about not knowing your gear. And I think that’s true that most of us should learn more and more about the tools and techniques that we use for our creative craft. It is important you understand not just the small little things but some of the bigger elements as well. Like when you’re talking about digital how does color management, or how do printing profiles affect the final print. I think it is critical to know your camera and your camera functions; because if you don’t have to spend time looking at the buttons on your camera, you can to spend more time being in the creative flow.
I think looking at the diversity of photographs created today important. We are at one of the most prolific times in photographic history. Looking at the diversity of who creates all these photos from different cultures, genders and races all contribute to our better understanding of the type of photographic world in which we exist.
Just like with diversity looking at the history of photography helps us understand where we’ve come from and why we do some of the things we do in our photography. It helps us understand the subtle influences and inspirations in photography.
Finally, if I were actually to have a mistake on my list, it would be this, not following your own voice. It is so easy to imitate and follow the path that other people took because it is easy. But meaningful work comes from the heart and the soul, and I think one of the biggest challenges artists face is being willing to risk sharing what is inside them with the rest of the world
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