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5 Motivational Tips for Photographers in 2018

Manuel Becker Manuel Becker in Tips & Tricks
30.12.2017 · 3 min read
Photo by Manuel Becker

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 2018.

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 2018 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 2018.

"Focusing is about saying no." Steve Jobs

2. Move

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

4. Learn

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!

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Comments (11)

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Frans-video 01.01.2018
Great article Manual, the first thing that came to my mind while reading your tips was how suitable they are for non-profesional vidographers to I think of our members of my video club. Thank you.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 01.01.2018
That would fit for sure as well. Which kind of videos are you guys producing? Definitely sounds interesting!
Stefano Mitta
Stefano Mitta 31.12.2017
Great article Manuel (as usual), so many thanks for that. One of my mottos is "never stop learning"! I wish to all of you a Happy New Year! Cheers
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 01.01.2018
Thank you very much, dear Stefano. That's a great motivation for me to write more articles in the future! Great motto and definitely something I pay attention quite a lot. I try to learn 1 completely new skill every year, something I am interested in or which could help me in other parts of my life. What about you? Wish you a great year too!
Stefano Mitta
Stefano Mitta 04.01.2018
I like that attitude in people. Nowadays I think is important to have "transversal skills" in our "tools box" or being versatile and fast learner. Curiosity is the reason why I would learn so many things. As visual learner I personally enjoy watching first and then trying by myself. I usually say no if the conditions do not exist, if not important enough for me and if I'm not able to do it properly. I don't like mistakes (in some fields there is no room for it), but when it happens, I try to learn from it. Have a nice day
John Griner
John Griner 31.12.2017
Manuel: I couldn’t agree more. These simple suggestions can be applied across all aspects of a productive life in 2018. I have a thought for YOUR 2018 goals: Start thinking about an inspirational message to share NEXT December. We’ll be looking forward to it.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 31.12.2017
Hehe, I will definitely think about that, thank you very much John and all the best for 2018!
Ai Lin Szwoch
Ai Lin Szwoch 31.12.2017
Thanks for this. These simple time-tested tips are great reminders of what we need to do to become better. Its so easy to become distracted by all the noise around us.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 31.12.2017
Oh yes, this happens to all of us I guess, so it's really important to reflect from time to time about ourselves and improve our habits again. Really appreciate your feedback, thank you very much for this and cheers for 2018!
Thomas Mahnken
Thomas Mahnken 30.12.2017
Well, the first thing that came to my mind while reading your tips was how suitable they are for all kind of different professions (e.g. all of them work perfectly for making music). Providing profound quotes was a good idea to underline your statements. Thank you.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 31.12.2017
Yeah, they definitely fit into everything in life, which I like most about them because they are universal and you don't need to focus on totally different things for different professions. I love the quotes too, although I must admit that this wasn't my own idea. Thank you for your feedback dear Thomas and all the best for 2018!

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