Today’s post is really about the most important lesson to learn and put into practise in order to become a better photographer. I truly believe that anyone can be a photographer. Some might be better or naturally more talented than others, but if you focus on what I’m about to say, I’m sure you can become a good photographer!
Here’s a little introduction, but feel free to skip this part if you want to get straight to the point:
This week I’ll be going home for Christmas, and am really looking forward to it. I’ve got lots of things I want to get done and catch up on, but one thing I especially want to work on again is my farmer photo reportage.
Recently I’ve had a real urge to just take photos and get out there. ‘Obviously’, you might think - that’s what I do. But wanting to really take photos isn’t always the case for me (and I’m guessing it’s the same for most other photographers). There are times where you’re just not so much into what you do, where you’d rather do something else, or you just don’t feel as motivated and enthusiastic about photography.
So, feeling enthusiastic about taking photos is possibly the best thing that can happen to you - because in order to become a better photographer you have to take pictures. That’s it. It’s that simple. And very important. You have to practise your skill. You have to do it. Take photos!
No one has ever become a great photographer by only reading about it or looking at pictures. I’m not saying you should stop reading this blog, or not look at other photographers’ work, but you have to actually put into practise what you learn.
I can assure you, I’m constantly learning by taking photos; and it’s not always easy, but you need this ‘urge’ to take photos, and then improve every time you’re shooting. This is the only way you will ever improve.
I had the idea for writing this post and stressing this point again when doing some research for my dissertation. I came across Truth and Photography by Jerry L. Thompson, who sums up nicely what picture-taking should be like:
‘To a working photographer, the practice of photography is repetitive and athletic, enlisting eyes, fingers, and other body parts in regular, routine exercise. Picture-taking becomes a nearly automatic reflex for a regular practitioner, a response so quick, so oft-repeated as to seem purely instinctive and not thoughtfully deliberate.’
Over the Christmas break I'll be thinking about future blog posts and topics. If you’ve got anything in mind that you’d really like me to talk about, please let me know in the comments!