In photography, it’s easy to slip into a comfort zone. It’s easy to fall in to a stress-free way of shooting where you know people will like your work. Sticking with subjects you know and never taking chances on new styles of photography. We as humans are habitual creatures, completely unafraid to get into a groove. To become better though, we have to become uncomfortable at times.
Here are some quick tips to help.
Do Some Exploration
Sometimes, we don’t know, or we forget, that there are myriad photography styles. It’s good to refresh yourself at times. Look at sites like 500px or Flickr and delve into what others are doing. Sometimes to change your perspective, you have to look through other photographers lenses. Let yourself be emersed in others work. Try new styles out.
If you have friends who are also photographers and they are shooting projects, offer yourself as an assistant. It’s a great way to earn experience in unfamiliar styles. You can see how they work, the gear they use. You can learn how their lighting is set up as well. When things are calm you can try your hand at shooting something different with them.
Shoot With a Different Piece of Gear or Try Film
Don’t be afraid of mistakes, when shooting for yourself you can make all the mistakes you want, consider it research and development. An easy way to do this is shooting with unfamiliar gear. If you have never shot with film, try working with a film camera. If you don’t want to do that, try and get your hand on a really old lens, for me it’s a 50 mm 1.8 E. The lens does not meet with my camera. It’s almost like shooting film because I have to judge the light all on my own or with a light meter. Another alternative is to rent a lens that you have never shot with before and taking time for yourself to learn.
In the end
I’ve learned, through experience, people tend to get bored at times. If your photography is always the same, people will come to expect things, and take your art for granted. Changing your style now and then will help you keep your eye fresh. Stepping out of your comfort zone will help you see your standard work in new ways. Doing something alien can help you find out who you really are as a photographer. You may find a new style that you love, or find new ways to shoot your current projects. You do not have to commit to anything but you can gain the experience by trying something new.
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