Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Need for Improvement

I have been doing this photography thing for a few years now, and while I do feel I have improved over the years, I feel that I am kind of in a rut now as far as my development.  I guess I shouldn't complain considering I am almost 100% self taught, but I feel at this point, I should be even better than I currently am. 

It's not like I haven't had some moments that have really boosted my ego over my abilities.  I had the photo that almost made it on to the cover of a phone book if not for some legal issues.  I had a picture be picked to be in a travel guide and while they told me they have hit some snags and the book might not come out until later this year, they still intend to release the book with my picture included.  And then I had my photography exhibit where I not only received tons of kudos, I actually sold a decent amount of stuff too.  This all feels good, but deep down, I feel like I am not improving enough. 

The daily picture, now in my 4th year, keeps me active in taking photographs.  But you can't imagine how hard it is to take a photograph of something different each and every day for this long.  I do it as a challenge, but I don't think it really makes me any better.  Yes, I still do take the occasional photo that wows me, but are they really THAT much better than any photo I have taken a year or even two years ago?  I was REALLY happy with the photo shoot I did for someone a few weeks back and I feel it was my best one to date, but other than that one, I can't say any of the most recent shoots have been THAT much better than anything in the past. 

So what now?  Well, it's my fault that I haven't taken it to the next level.  I haven't read books with tips.  I have a couple that I have started, but never fully immersed myself in them.  I guess I could take some classes, whether it be online or in person, but those are always going to take money and possibly time I don't have.  I'll start with the books I have, but who knows when I will finish them.  Like anything, if you want to get better at something, you have to make a commitment to it and that has been where I have been lacking, I guess.  As always, this is still and will always remain a hobby for me.  I do this for the fun of it and understand that I will never be as good as people who do this full time or even part time.  I'm not trying to convince others that I am as good as those who do that because I know I haven't made that commitment to take it to that level.  When I see someone post pictures they had done from a professional, I KNOW they are better than mine.  Does it make me a little sad that I am not at that level?  Sure, of course!  But make no mistake about it, I don't have any misconceptions that my photos are at that level.  I am not delusional to that fact.  But that doesn't mean there is no room for improvement, even at the hobby level.  And I need to consider taking those next steps. 


Nani said...

Maybe you could take a class. It would be fun and perhaps open up some possibilities for you. Just a thought. Hugs, Nani

Mom said...

You do not give yourself enough credit but I get it. I have seen a lot of growth in your pictures through the years. I am always in awe of how you take something so ordinary and simple and turn it into art.
This is a great hobby and you should never try to compare your work with a professional who has spent a ton more money. Although some of your work is truly up there. I really can't imagine trying to take a picture a day but you do and I love it. Especially when all done and in the book (hint)
Reading, taking a class, etc are all great ideas but it had to be at the right time. Just like your commitment to losing weight, keep it up because you are your own worst critic. We think you are amazing!

laura b. said...

Since photography is an art, "better" can be very subjective. And there are so many factors to consider...some of which can't be helped, such as maybe not as many pieces of expensive equipment, access to a great many locales, or the time and energy needed to arrange set pieces.
I think your photography is amazing, but can totally understand your wish to see some marked difference over the years. Just keep enjoying it, because that quality of pleasure surely does shine through.

Jessica Valle said...

I read this when you posted it; I'm not sure why I never commented... Anyway, your work has gotten better over the years. Did you even imagine when you started that you'd be asked to display your work in an art gallery? And actually sell some?! I understand that you want to keep forward progress, so do something about it! Take a class, read a book, look at the Internet, use that fish eye lens you bought. Just play around and discover cool, new things. Regardless, I'm proud of you and the beautiful images you produce.