Every photographer has to start somewhere and most beginners have to overcome several hindrances on their photography journey. Here are the top five that I have discovered and how to overcome them. There is a misnomer that great images are shot by professionals and that the rest of us fit into the category of happy snappers which are a sub-standard group of photographers. The great divide is a figment of your imagination. There is no wide gap and I am going to show you why.
I find it amazing that the students I teach have this idea that they can’t take the great images the pros do and they have a mindset of inferiority. I am going to look at five hindrances that amateurs create for themselves, thereby limiting there photographic journey.
1. My photos are sub-standard
This is probably true in certain respects but you will find that there are really great images scattered amongst your mainly average images. Key here is to find those images that are good and concentrating on making them better or shooting more like them. Here’s a practical exercise for you to do. Select a random number of your photos, whether they are prints or digital, and sort through them choosing the ones you think are great and that measure up to your standards. Place them in a pile or folder. Now pack the rest away, discard them or put them in a file somewhere on your PC. Take the good ones and focus on them. Now tell yourself that you can take good photos. This is the first step to becoming an above average photographer. Your journey has begun. Change that mindset now.
2. My equipment is not good enough
This is a statement that so many budding photographers make. And how wrong can you be. Good photographers take good images and NOT good cameras. A great photographer will take a top image using just an ordinary camera. Forty years ago most images were shot with cameras that are nowhere near the quality of equipment we use today. Concentrate on your photo taking and not on your camera. Composition is not dependent on a good camera but a good eye.
3. I can’t get this right
There is no right way to take an image. You have to start somewhere and it’s not always easy so persevere at taking photos. You have to start somewhere and regular practise is essential. Gradually you will start getting better. Get to know you camera and its settings and learn what it can do. Your camera has automatic so use it to begin with. It doesn’t make you any less of a photographer if you don’t start with manual. Ease yourself into it and start using the different settings one at a time.
4. I’ll never be able shoot like the professionals
Did you know that every single professional started at the same place that you did? They weren’t born with the ability to take great images. It was a journey of perseverance and effort that took them to where they are now. Commitment to a task and lots practise and effort will help you to shoot like the professionals. Professional just means that they do it for a living and doesn’t describe their ability. I have seen some really average images by professionals and some fantastic photos by dedicated amateurs. If you take the time and effort you will grow as a photographer.
5. I can’t afford to learn
At this point in the digital day and age there has never been a better time to learn photography. Besides the fact that digital makes it almost free to learn after your initial purchase, the internet is full of free material to download. Much of it is also very reasonably priced. So you CAN afford to learn. Join a photography club in your area and you’ll probably find others willing to teach you or courses at no cost to members.
The biggest hurdle that most have to overcome is a negative attitude or mindset. If you are really enthusiastic about becoming a great photo taker then nothing will hold you back. Find a solution to each of the barriers to learning and in a short time you will be taking great images. Happy shooting!