The ultimate way to push yourself as a photographer or even as a videographer is to consistently test your knowledge and skills without the fear of failing or looking stupid. I’m pretty sure when someone mentioned the Idea of how a camera would work, someone laughed at them too but decades later, here we are. Testing your limits as a photographer is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself as a photographer and also learn more about your craft as well.
Many of us photographer become complacent or comfortable once we’ve found that one thing we perform well at and stick to it. Some of us get stuck in our comfort zone while living in fear of trying something new or become lazy and don’t see the need to try something new overall. I can say I was once like that until I eventually got bored of the way I was creating and editing my images. I saw the need to start testing myself to see what It is in also capable of outside of being a lifestyle and portrait photographer. In this article, I will be proudly sharing with you some key tips as yo how you can test yourself and a photographer while shooting and also around your computer during post-production. I hope some of these tips inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and push yourself to be an even better photographer than you already are. Let’s begin.
One of the first things I did as a photographer was starting to give myself a challenge every week to complete. If I did not complete the challenge then I would stay on it until I have successfully completed it enough to my own satisfaction. Some of these challenges were pretty easy and others were a bit complex. Nonetheless, the feeling of satisfaction once completing a challenge you thought you couldn’t have is very rewarding. For example, I once challenged myself to shoot shadows for an entire week just to see what It is I could create. To my surprise, I managed to muster up some pretty good shots even while not in my comfort zone. I have never been a fan of too many shadows in my images but said to myself there will be a day when I have no choice but to shoot with shadows in my images to please my clients.
Challenging yourself on a weekly basis gives you something new to look forward to but also helps you to overcome your fears in photography as well. There are many challenges available online for your viewing or you can even create some challenges for yourself. I usually recommend making a list of all the things you’ve never tried while shooting or the things you’ve had a fear of doing in photography. Once you’ve made this list you can pace yourself and try each challenge until you’ve checked off all of them.
Most photographers like myself usually use Photoshop or Lightroom to edit our photos on a day to day basis. We eventually start to become lazy in our editing efforts and create presets or record our editing actions so we can apply them to our images and create a faster and more efficient workflow. I cannot disagree with this type of habit as it has proven itself very useful to me in the past and I’m sure other photographers can share the same sentiment even now. However, this limits our knowledge of the software we are using and probably taking advantage of. Lightroom and Photoshop are amazing software that can easily bring your imagination to life through an image or even enhance your image beyond your imagination. With this said, explore more what the software is capable of and not limit yourself to one style of editing.
There will be moments where your client might not like how you edited their image or feel that the way you edit is not the right match for that specific shot. In this instance, you then would need to have knowledge of other options that might work for your client but given you’ve not explored the software at your fingertips enough, you are now limited to this one style. Being creative is all about trying new things to see how they look and feel to you and the creator of them.
Every photographer is different in regards to their style of shooting or even their style of editing. A photographers work is usually signed by how they take their images for others to see. I recommend taking the time out to observe some of your favorite photographers work and test yourself to see if you can replicate or come even remotely close to a shot or edit they produced. You might not always get the same shot, depending on what exactly the shot is but you can definitely give the editing a try. I made it a habit to analyze the little details in the work of the photographer I look up to and try to mimic that to the best of my ability. What this does is give me a better sense of exactly what their style of editing and shooting is and helps to motivate me in knowing that I can also produce the same type of work or even better.
You alone can set your limits on what it is you create or how it is you create. Testing and pushing these limits will only help to make you a better photographer and overall a better creative as you become more passionate and build a better relationship with your craft. I hope this article has inspired you to push your photography skills a little more to become a better photographer than you already are. Until next time, thank you for stopping by.