If you’ve been taking photos for a long time, there are a few pitfalls that you might come across! Let’s take a look at them, and how best to get over them if you do encounter them.
1. Losing your spark
When you first start out with photography, everything is exciting. You’ll happily spend hours capturing the perfect shot and any time spent taking a photo is time well spent. Over time though, this feeling can fade. If you work as a photographer, chances are you won’t always be shooting images the way you want to – after all; part of being a photographer is fulfilling your clients’ requirements. Whatever sort of photographer you are – whether a pro or enthusiastic amateur – life can also get in the way, and taking photos can be pushed to the back of the queue.
So, how do you get your spark back? The key is to remember what you loved about taking photos in the first place. And that’s often about going back to shooting the kind of shots you did when you first started. You might be a portrait photographer now, but have found your love of photography shooting landscapes. So, get out with your camera and take the sort of images you used to love. Make time in your day or week to reconnect with your love of the genre and your spark should soon return.
Being a photographer is generally a fairly solitary profession. You might work with a team from time to time but, apart from assistants, it’s unlikely you’ll be spending a lot of time with other photographers. This is a shame, in my view, as spending time with others in your profession can help to spark ideas and give you a new view on your work.
There are other photographers out there in your local area and it’s worth getting to know them! You may find this happens organically – I’ve met several photographers through using their studios, and many of my old assistants are now photographers in their own right. I’ve also met quite a few when I’ve interviewed them for my written work. Many are now close friends as well as colleagues, and they all undoubtedly help inspire me and give me a platform to bounce those all important ideas off. In short, don’t be afraid of making other photographer friends!
If you’ve been a photographer for a while, it’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming lazy. For most of us, once we’ve found a way of shooting that works – particularly for our clients – it’s a case of, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. And often, if you’re working on a tight time schedule with a client, it’s not a great idea to try out new techniques!
But if you don’t try out new things, your images can begin to look tired and you run the danger of beginning to produce images that all look the same. Take some time out to think about new ideas and try them out. Read up on techniques that interest you and you’ll soon have some new things to add to your repertoire!
4. Never putting your camera down
I love taking photos and I always have at least a pocket camera in my bag (a Sony RXII, if you’re interested). That way I know I’ll never miss a shot. But I don’t carry my pro gear around with me all the time, and I don’t always take pictures when I’m out and about.
That’s not to say that if I’m in a beautiful location, I won’t snap a few shots but I won’t spend hours doing so. Sometimes it’s important to put the camera down and actually engage with what’s going on around you. I always joke to my friends that a proper holiday for me is leaving the camera at home, but there is an element of truth in this. When photography is your job, it’s important to take a break from it at times so you don’t get jaded.