The (Real) ABC Of Photography
There are lots of things we have to remember as photographers. The rule of thirds, diagonal lines, leading lines, lighting, reflections, the list goes on and on. But while we’re cramming our heads full of the technical “must do’s”, it can be easy to forget the creative side of things.
Any photographer, professional or amateur, needs to nurture their creativity, as well as their passion and inspiration. To do this, however, you need to put as much stock into these areas as you do for all the technicalities.
While some may say a photographer’s ABC’s are aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, we’re going to suggest something a little different. Instead of anything technical, we believe a photographer’s ABC’s are all about maintaining inspiration, holding onto your passion, and keeping your love for photography as strong as ever. These are as follows…
A For Artistry
As a photographer, the first thing you need is an artistic vision. Just because you don’t draw, paint, write, or sing, that doesn’t mean you are not an artist. In fact, anyone who creates anything is an artist, so you should tackle your photography endeavours the same way Leonardo Da Vinci would tackle his paintings – with flair and gusto!
What we mean by this is that, when you’re taking photographs, it can be easy to fall into a common trap. Instead of telling your version of the world in front of you, you simply take a picture of the world in front of you. But your photographs should be extensions of your personality and your vision.
They should say what you want them to say, and make the viewer feel how you want them to feel. You should think about why you’re taking a photograph, what you’re trying to convey, and then find a unique way to translate it. By doing this, you’ll keep things interesting and will always take photographs that are entirely and indomitably you.
B For Belief
If you’ve ever posted your pictures on Facebook, or created a Facebook photo book, you probably did so because you believed in your vision. This is one of the most important things to have as a photographer: belief. But it can easily get lost. In the world of social media – where everything is judged on “likes” or “comments” – it’s possible to become too obsessed with how your photographs are performing and lose belief in your abilities. This is bad news not only for your photographs, but for your self-esteem as well.
It is important to remember why you picked up this hobby in the first place: because you loved it and because you were good at it. Even if you weren’t so good in the beginning, it’s likely that you are now. No one starts playing the piano and proceeds to play the wrong notes for several years. They get the hang of the music, they start playing the right notes, and they start playing them well.
This is also true for photography. If you have been invested in your passion for a while, then you've been getting better at it every day since the beginning. Make sure you remember that and work out how to maintain belief in your own abilities. Don’t put too much stock on social media or any external opinion. Instead, ensure that your ambitions and goals as a photographer are internally motivated.
C For Communication
Speaking of social media, you must utilise platforms like Instagram and Facebook properly. That means being invested in more than just likes. Every creative type loves to discuss their work, especially when they put a lot of effort into it, and while it’s rewarding to post your pictures on social media or upload them to a photo book maker, it’s just as important to seek out that dialogue.
If you use social media to actually communicate with like-minded people, you’re not only going to get good feedback and find out how to learn from mistakes, but you’re going to ensure you maintain your love for it. This is because there’s a real engagement when you're talking to other people.
How long do people really linger before tapping the like button and moving on? How many people really engage with it? If you join a group of people or have a circle of friends you can communicate with, however, you are rewarded for your work on a different level. You are receiving engagement and enthusiasm, two things that can really boost a photographer’s confidence and make them strive harder for perfection.