Become a Better Photographer in 2013
The Grid on Kelby TV had an excellent show titled "Become a Better Photographer in 2013" and it had a lot of good food for thought.
I've been nominated Vice President and am giving a short talk at NorCal Professional Photographers Association this evening to summarize that episode of The Grid and give my personal thoughts.
Figure out your style: Focus on what you're good at. Are you a wedding, portrait, commercial, landscape, architectural, lifestyle, adventure or fine art photographer? Most of us are a combination of those styles, it's up to you to choose where your best creativity and passion lies. Learn to accept critique, listen to what other people say about your images, you might glean a nugget of truth out of it, even if you don't agree.
Study the Masters: Google the websites for the photographers you most admire. Use sites like Flickr, 500px and Google Images to research what other photographers have done in regards to a style, subject or location. Take from that the elements of the photographs that you like and don't like. Learn from other's mistakes and successes. Build your mental visual library.
Seek out Training: The internet has a wealth of information and how to videos for photography. For example KelbyTraining and YouTube.com
Do whatever it takes to get the images you want to make: If you're a landscape photographer, travel to that special place. If you want to make new and compelling wedding, portrait or fashion images hire/trade a model and borrow/rent the clothing. If you're an event or sports photographer, get access to those events. Go for "That Client" you've always wanted to work for.
Create an online portfolio: Build your website, I use Zenfolio, other great choices are PhotoShelter and Smugmug. Photo sharing sites like Flickr and 500px are great places to share and be inspired by themed groups like Macro Mondays, Strobist Sundays, Theme of the Week and Flickr Friday. Another option for creative inspiration on Flickr is the new group I started 1x12 2013 Edition. Flickr and Getty Images have partnered, I received an invite from Getty Images to become a contributor to their Flickr Creative Collection for my Adventure/Lifestyle and Fine Art images. I'll admit Getty's 30/70 contract is low, but these are images that I'm not marketing anyway and Getty Images is the world's largest stock agency; they don't accept images unless they believe they can sell them.
Buy or rent the gear you need: LensProToGo and BorrowLens are two great rental companies. You can also look on Ebay for used gear.
WHAT IS YOUR MISSION?: This is the most important key to becoming a better photographer this year. Think about what you want to accomplish for yourself and your business. Matt Kloskowski's mission is "To take beautiful images of beautiful places." My mission is "To make compelling images for my commercial, stock and fine art photography. Which includes architectural, commercial, short films, adventure/lifestyle and artsy fartsy images.
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