How to Grow as a Photographer

“We’ll be saying a big hello to all intelligent lifeforms everywhere and to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.” ― Douglas Adams


Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Most photographers progress through three distinct phases while learning and refining their skills and how you manage to navigate these phases has a lot to do with the pace of your growth as a photographer.

The first phase occurs just after they get their first “good” camera and discover the medium’s potential. During this time, these shooters enthusiastically explore their world and every memory card is chock full of files that contains images that look so much better than they could have ever imagined. Unfortunately, this blissful period doesn’t last long and is quickly replaced by the next and longer phase.

During phase two, the photographer’s level of enthusiasm is high but becomes diminished when reviewing their latest images only to discover that these new photographs are much worse than they expected. It’s all about managing expectations. This phase can last a long time but as the photographer continues to improve their skills by reading magazines and books, and—most important of all—practicing their art, they eventually reach the third and final phase

When reaching phase three, the images the photographer sees in their viewfinder and what they actually capture is exactly what they expected. There are no surprises. While reaching this phase can be fulfilling, some of the magic is understandably lost.

Sometimes that right combination of lighting, subject, and photographer’s mood and inspiration will capture a magic moment and the secret of making that happen is to just keep making photographs. Tip: Try shooting in Monochrome to see what happens. Practice does make perfect or as Mr. Adams says in “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,” the secret is to bang the rocks together…”