4 simple steps to improve your photography that anyone can do starting today.
What’s going on everybody, Shane Baker with Shane Baker Studios. It might be a little loud, I am at a Starbucks, just doing some editing for a client. But I wanted to give you guys just a couple of simple tips— 4 simple tips to improve your photography. I know that as photographers or brand new photographers, oftentimes, we pick up a camera, and we’re looking for some simple ways to grow, and we see all these great images online. So I’m going to give you guys 4 simple things that you can do today to help improve your photography.
So the first thing is obviously Shoot as often as possible. Here’s the thing: Joel Grimes— if you guys don’t know Joel Grimes, he’s one of the top photographers here in the valley and I went to a meeting that he was hosting and one of the things that he said was that top tier photographers at his level, the upper echelon— one of the things that they do is they try to shoot a personal project once a week. That kind of blew me away, that these guys are incredibly busy, they got a lot of things going on and they’re trying to shoot one project a week.
When I thought about it, if you’re shooting 52 times a year; a personal project versus somebody who’s making time for just one photoshoot a month, you get 52 opportunities versus 12 opportunities to go ahead and improve your photography. That’s the first thing I can suggest for you guys.
The other thing is go ahead and ask to assist other photographers. Find photographers that you really enjoy either their work ethic, or you love their photography, maybe they’re at a level that you wanna be at your own photography, and start asking them if you can assist them on their photoshoots.
The other thing I’m going to recommend, the third thing is Start Saying No. It sounds kind of weird, but hear me out. When I first started photography, I would shoot absolutely everything. And I very quickly realized there are some things that I love to shoot and some things that I didn’t love to shoot. And when I started to say no to the things that didn’t give me energy, I had time to do the things that I wanted to do. And it allowed me to grow in my photography. I was passionate about the photoshoots that I was doing because I loved them and I started saying no to the photoshoots that just didn’t feed me. So that’s the other thing that I would suggest to you guys.
And the fourth and final thing is You guys have to start asking— I’m not saying that you have to, but I’m going to suggest you guys start asking for Constructive Feedback. What I mean by that is— I am not asking you to go and reach out to somebody and say, “Hey, what do you think about this image?,” with the expectation that they’re going to tell you that they love it, that they’ll say that it’s amazing and great. I’m going to ask you guys to ask for constructive feedback. Sometimes, that may not be something that you want to hear. You may hear things from the person that may kind of hurt a little bit because it’s your photography, it’s your image, but it’s going to be very, very helpful.
Now here’s the caveat: you can’t just ask anybody for constructive feedback. The people you need to be asking for constructive feedback from are those who are already doing what you things you want to do, at the level that you want to be doing it at. So, here’s what I mean by that: i.e. you’re a portrait photographer and you’re asking for constructive feedback from another photographer who’s just getting into the business, and he’s just starting. It doesn’t make any sense. What are they going to have to tell you that’s going to help you grow in the industry? So, make sure that you’re asking constructive feedback from people that are at the level that you want to be at and are doing things currently that you want to be doing. That’s my big tip for you guys.