Sunday, February 19, 2012

Five Habits of Successful Photographers

    A lot of people flirt with idea of being a professional photographer, others just want to take better pictures as a hobby. Either one will require developing the habits that lead to better photography.
    Know Your Equipment Inside and Out
    Can you operate your camera blindfolded? While that's not a skill you necessarily need to practice as a photographer, you do have to know your equipment and how it operates that intimately. You need to know how to change shooting modes and exposure settings and how each of those changes will impact the final image and to know that so well that you could be dropped into any uncertain situation and be certain of coming away with great photos.
    Great photographers will also take time to read their camera manual, even though that can be a painful experience.
    You Must Be Adaptable
    If there was ever a photography shoot that went according to script, that's the job the people involved will be talking about for years because it's so rare. Things always go wrong on a shoot, or something new and unexpected turns up.
    Experience will give you the confidence to be adaptable, to figure out how to get around equipment that might have gotten lost, broken, stolen or forgotten. Experience will guide you through shooting situations when the light is not right, or when the weather threatens days when you have an outdoor shoot scheduled.
    You Value Time
    Your time and the time of anyone else involved in photography projects is valuable. A great photographer will not only value their own time, but others as well. That doesn't always mean you're getting paid, but even if there's no money involved you're clear about what you and the other people involved are getting in return.
    You Show Up Ready To Work
    In any creative art, whether it's writing, music or photography, there are going to be days when you're just not feeling it. Professionals have the ability to work through down days and get the job done, regardless of what else might be wrong in their life at the time.
    Professionals don't have to like who they're working with that day and won't let it change their focus in any case.
    You Are An Eager Collaborator
    Everyone in photography had someone who let them assist or otherwise work in on projects. All the great photographers regularly work with other photographers, assistants and apprentices.
    Photography is a constantly evolving art form and only those who stay current with the business of their art ultimately make it to the very top. The very best take turns being student and teacher; constantly learning new skills and lighting techniques and passing those skills on to others.
    Working with other people on projects gives you the chance to learn something new and make new contacts. In today's business climate, no one is an island. The people you help today may be the ones you call on for help tomorrow.

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