Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice makes perfect is something everyone says all the time.  It is the same principle with photography, but I want to change it a little to something my music teacher taught me and that is “perfect practice makes perfect.”  If you are doing the same thing over and over again, incorrectly then that is how it will be done always, incorrectly.

Practicing perfectly is one of the reason I find that taking a class on photography is so important.  If you do not understand that you are making mistakes then how can you correct them?  There is so much to learn when it comes to photography that you can take many classes from beginning to advanced and still find there is more to learn.  Things like avoiding mergers, rule of thirds, lines, vantage point, depth, camera hardware, lighting, and the list goes on.   These are all things that need to be taught, either through a class or some other way, books, blogs, chat rooms, there are lots of resources.  If you are good at reading and understanding then maybe you wont need a class, maybe your a fast learner and can do it all on your own.  There are plenty of self taught photographers, that are some of the best, but for the rest of us a class can make all of the difference.  Honestly, I didn’t think that I was too bad until I took a class and I could see more clearly all the things that I needed to work on, and then the list got bigger and bigger and to this day I’m still taking classes, reading blogs and trying to improve my trade.

The field is ever changing and growing, and we too should be changing and growing with it.  We don’t need to be scared that there are so many photographers in the world, but we should embrace it!  If we are confident in our skills we do not need to be scared someone else will take our jobs.  If we can keep up with what is going on there will always be money to be made.  The problem is that it does not come easy, and with little effort, but it really is hard.

I think that practicing the right way can get you better at anything that you are working on, and one of the only ways that you can get better at photography is getting out and trying it.  There are many places online where you can find the “picture a day” programs where it encourages you to take a picture a day of something.  It gets you to notice things that you wouldn’t normally see and to be a little more creative when it comes to your pictures.  I really like these little lists because it keeps your eyes and mind in a more creative zone.  Instead of taking a picture of the obvious it gets you working a little harder to get a picture thats a little better.  I have really enjoyed doing some of those lists as practice.

A different way of seeing life is something that photography has given me.  When I see something that is beautiful I try to find a way to capture it with my camera.  Sometimes I have to work really hard to get the vantage point that really conveys what we are seeing.  It is a challenge to get a feeling or an emotion in your pictures, but those are the pictures that really speak to me so I will continue to try, maybe for the rest of my life to get the emotion into my pictures.  It can be a feeling of sadness, peace, happiness, or joy but all things can be captured in the photograph but it takes year and years of practice.  I love capturing emotions but it is super hard!  Sometimes you almost have to guess what is going to happen to be ready for the really good pictures.  Lots of time those beautiful images of tears of joy or sadness happen and you are just lucky when you have your camera ready.  Over the years of practicing with your camera you will come to realize that you can plan a little about where to be focusing your camera to get the great money shots.  I still have not mastered it but it is fun to try.

I am very lucky to have taken the classes that I have on photography.  I know that I would not be very good at what I do if I wouldn’t have put the effort, time and money into this field.  It is a hard and demanding field and depending on where you live sometimes it seems like an impossible field to break into, but with patience, and hard work I hope that each of us are able to reach our goals when it comes to photography.