All photographers go through phases where they feel their images just aren’t living up to their expectations. From beginners to seasoned professionals, these phases are inevitable. For many, it can be discouraging enough to make them give up on their photography practice altogether. If this is happening to you, I encourage you not to take it personally and call it quits. You really aren’t alone!
Rather, accept the challenge head on and turn the frustration into determination. This is, after all, the best way for you to improve! Below, I’ve listed a couple common reasons that cause photographers a bit of frustration over the quality of their images. Take a look…
1. You Don’t Practice Enough
At the end of the day, it comes down to practicing. Not once a week, not twice a week. Every single day. Of course, you have to start somewhere. I realize people have busy schedules and it can be hard to make time to drag out the old DSLR and dedicate a block of time to using it. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be practicing. Even if you’re just snapping a shot with your smartphone, it is still better than not thinking about your photography at all.
Sometimes you just have to make the time. There will come a time when you have to put excuses aside and make it happen. Determination will take you further than talent alone if you’re able to muster up enough of it!
2. You’re Not Allowing Yourself To Make Mistakes
As a blogger who writes pretty much exclusively about educational photography topics, I can tell you with a level certainty that you’re not going to learn everything you need to know from reading blogs posts–regardless of how good they are. In that aspect, this is similar to #1 on this list. However, when you’re out there shooting, don’t just follow those tutorials along to a T.
Deviate from the plan! Make mistakes–on purpose! Don’t hold yourself to the standards and ideals put in place and ingrained into our minds. You need to make those mistakes in order to learn from them. Furthermore, experimentation is the mother of invention. You never know, you may just stumble onto a new, exciting way to create an awesome photo!
3. You’re Not Shooting What You Love
This is actually fairly common advice. We hear it a lot on the blogosphere.
“Shoot what you love and the good photos will come.”
Well, there’s a good reason you hear this advice so much: it’s tried and true. Now, I’m a huge advocate of practicing as much as possible (see above), and often that entails shooting all sorts of things. But, once you’ve got things like basic exposure and composition techniques down, it’s time to start focusing on you and developing your own personal style.
They’re Not All Gonna Be Keepers And That’s Okay
And remember, they aren’t all going to be keepers! Every single photographer, no matter how long they’ve been at it, takes downright bad photos. Photos they would never dare show anyone, much less take credit for. So don’t beat yourself, just get out there practice!