It’s not the camera, it’s not the lens, it’s not even the tripod – so what makes great photography?.. So glad you asked..
Great photography is born before you even lift your camera to your eye (or look at the LCD screen). To become a great photographer you have to be so many things all at the same time. You have to be an observer, a sociologist, a psychologist, a lateral thinker, a Buddhist monk, an introvert, an extrovert, a friend, a scientist, a graphic designer, an event coordinator, and a lighting engineer – just to name a few..
Let’s take a step back for a second.
What actually makes a photograph great? For me, it’s a combination of 3 things – CONTENT, COMPOSITION, and LIGHT. Must have all 3. There is actually a 4th element – MAGIC – but that just happens or it doesn’t. And when in do you truly have a winner!
So how do we become great photographers then?
Here are some strategies:
- Study photography – self-study, do courses, look at loads of great (and not so great) photographers’ work. And do it regularly!!
- Study art – you can learn a lot about composition and light
- You need to build a relationship with your camera and photography – you can’t just pick it up once a month, photograph a couple of seagulls and then move on..
- You have to be curious and love to experiment – and mistakes/flukes can be your best photographs
- Put yourself in others’ shoes – it will help you understand what is important to capture/record/document for them and will also teach you what makes actually interesting content or not
- Develop a strong sense of awareness and observation – you have to intuit when things are about to unfold before they happen so you are ready to capture them
- Develop your people skills! People will only allow you to photograph them if they trust you and like you
- It’s not about the gear – it’s about training your eye – so don’t buy equipment but rather invest in developing your skills
- Hang out with loads of other photographers – it’s amazing what you will learn..
- Be humble!! There are loads of different photographic styles and disciplines – each requiring a different way of seeing, different settings and a different approach. We can learn from all of them. And photography is a lifelong learning curve anyway!!
- Draw creativity and inspiration from other forms – for me music is a great one
- Be patient and kind to yourself – it takes time 🙂
- It’s a journey..
Enjoy the journey!!