As professional photographers, we constantly deal with the struggle to maintain our love for photography while still fulfilling our professional photography obligations to our clients. Below are some suggestions that will help you to stay in love with photography.
Some of the most inspiring photography trips I’ve been on were photo walks. Put simply, these are trips where there is no expectations, no limits, and no boundaries to the photos you can take. Photo walks can be done anywhere and at any time. They can be done alone, with a group of friends, with a model, or even with other photographers. The benefit of photo walks is that they allow you to experiment and explore photography at your own pace. The stress that comes from trying to make a client happy is gone when you are on a photo walk. It is good to schedule these every once in a while to help you relax and enjoy photography. The busier you are with professional photography work, the more often you should go on photo walks. Ideally, I like to go on at least 1-2 photo walks every month in order to clear my mind and maintain my love for photography. Photo walks can be scheduled or last minute, it doesn’t matter. Bringing your camera last minute to a hike in the mountains can be called a photo walk.
In the modern day, photography challenges have become very common – especially on social media. There is a wide range of photography challenges that appeal to different types of photographers. Some challenges are quite simple, for example requiring you to take a photo of something of a certain color and posting it every day. Other challenges are harder and require you to use a different photography technique every day. For example, one challenge may be to use a panning technique to capture a moving subject. These photography challenges often require you to take photos daily or weekly. I highly recommend for signing up for photography challenges, because they help you to stay involved in photography outside of your professional work. Photography challenges are much more exciting when you sign up as a group with your friends or with other photographers that you know. Signing up for photography challenges with people you know helps everyone to stay motivated and continue with the challenge until completion.
One of the best methods to maintain your love for an art is to teach others that art. The joy of seeing someone learn to appreciate an art is priceless. Sharing the joys of photography with others can inspire others and also yourself at the same time. It helps remind you why you fell in love with photography in the first place. That amazing feeling when you capture a beautiful photo. Some of the easiest ways to teach others and inspire them are actually by doing some of the things mentioned above, like going on photo walks with them or joining them on photography challenges. As you go on photo walks, teach them about a few new settings on their camera or a new photography concept. Then let them practice and practice until they nail it down. When teaching someone photography, it is essential that you do not overload them with new information. Just think of how long it took you to personally learn and develop the skill set that you now have as a professional photographer. It doesn’t come overnight. Therefore, strive to teach only a few new concepts or skills on each photo walk.
Another great way of teaching others that I personally enjoy is by bringing photography enthusiasts with me on my professional photo shoots and having them assist me. Through doing the work of a photography assistant, they can learn many exciting new skills and techniques. They also learn about how to work with clients, how to set up equipment and what to look for in terms of good lighting. As they get better and better, sometimes I will allow them to start shooting as a second shooter also. This will further allow them to grow as a photographer and also means less work for me, so I’d say it’s a win-win!