If you follow these 5 easy tips within the next 365 days, it will definitely make you a better photographer or anything that you want to become better at in 2021.
Today I read an article by Johny Vino about 5 Motivational Tips for Designers in 2018 and while thinking about his suggestions, I thought it could be interesting to apply these to photography as well. I really love the quote by Niels Bohr, who says "An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field", because a lot of people (including me) often forget, that making mistakes is probably one of the best and fastest ways to learn and improve in something. So here are 5 tips, that will definitely make you a better photographer in 2021 if you keep them in mind.
1. Say No
While there are so many different aspects about photography, it’s also important to say no to some of these photographic opportunities and focus on what matters to you. I end every year with a few days of thinking about what I want to achieve within the next 12 months and setting 3-4 really compelling goals for myself. When I think about next December and how it feels if I would have achieved them already, I must feel nearly obsessed to reach them. Otherwise they are obviously not important enough for me. Writing down these goals and aligning your focus around them can make a huge difference within your life, not only in photography. Say yes more often to anything that matters to you and try to say no to things that won’t help you to reach your goals in 2021.
"Focusing is about saying no." Steve Jobs
More important than making huge steps forward is improving everyday and keep moving. It doesn’t matter how fast you are learning and getting better, it’s just important that you won’t stand still. Every new year will reveal 365 days you can and should use, to get closer towards your goals.
"Don’t fear moving slowly. Fear standing still." Chinese proverb
3. Make Mistakes
If you fear about taking the photos you would like to shoot, you will never have the chance to improve. If you love fashion photography, but you are anxious about booking and instructing a model, you won’t be able to improve. If you would like to become a better landscape photographer, but you are anxious about showing your first results, you won’t be able to improve. It’s not important how many mistakes you make, it’s just important on how fast you are able to improve!
"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." Niels Bohr
If you set your goals for the next year, there are probably things you need to learn first before you can achieve them. Make this a key part of your life and don’t forget, that football players are training their skills within over 90% of their time and less than 10% is about competitions. The latter is what we see, although they focused most of their time on improving and learning.
"I think a life properly lived is just learn, learn, learn all the time." Charlie Munger
5. Say Ok
There will always be people that won’t like or even recognize your photos and that’s totally fine. Show your images as often as you can and gather feedback to improve and get better results the next time. Instead of feeling hurt by other opinions, it is much better to say ok and accept them. Become so good, that they can't ignore you in the future.
"When you fly high, people will throw stones at you. Don’t look down. Just fly higher so the stones won’t reach you." Chetan Bhagat
What are your thoughts about these tips for photographers? Are you already following them or do you have a converse opinion? I would love to hear about your view in the comments below!