Every photographer has their own style. Your style is what makes you stand out from the crowd. However, there are certain habits we develop as photographers that you might think is part of your style but they actually inhibit our creativity. Here are a few habits you, as a photographer, need to break in order to grow in your craft.
1. Switch it up – Whether you own your camera or rent it from ARC, you need to familiarize yourself with your equipment before you go out and shoot. But don’t get too comfortable. Every now and then it’s good to change your settings around and try something new. Even if the results aren’t to your liking, you might stumble upon something you might never have achieved had you stuck with your comfort zone.
2. Change your perspective – Your out wandering about the city on a day of shooting. You see something that catches your eye. Your first instinct is to pic up your camera and start clicking. Stop! Take a moment to think about the different ways you can capture your subject. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty. Get down on the ground and get a child’s eye view. Then look around and see if you can get a look from above eye level. Walk towards your subject for more detail. Walk away for grander context. Or, better yet, come back at night. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find by changing your point of view.
3. ”I’ll just crop that in post.” – How many times have you said that to yourself when capturing your images? Stop it! A major part of your growth is in developing your eye. When you take the time to look at the composition of each image you take, you not only create better images but you enhance your ability to see what an ordinary point-and-shooter won’t. So take your time with each image and think about what you want the end result to be before you capture.
4. Try your best to avoid trends – With the emergence of Flickr and Instagram it’s now easier to network with fellow photographers and follow what they’re doing. The amazing part about this is that you can influence and be influenced by each other. The bad news is, you can influence and be influenced by each other. It’s great to challenge yourself by imitating your favorite photographer’s style. But all too often I see a group of brilliant photographers who all follow the same trend, to the point where it’s hard to tell one photographer from the other. Try to break away from that mold by allowing yourself to be influenced but putting your own personal spin on it. Remember, when it comes to photography, the more you stick out like a sore thumb the better.
5. Be selective when sharing – The key to putting together a stellar portfolio is in knowing what to leave out. You may have taken 5 amazing shots of your subject but don’t include them all. Pick one that you really like and move on. Being redundant will only hurt you in the end.