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Useful Photography Tip #40: Develop Your Confidence

by Gevon Servo on 08/27/2012

Developing confidence is hard. It is the key to improving your work, though. Having a lot of confidence does not mean you’re controlling the results. Confident people do miss the mark at times, too. It is about knowing what you are doing and applying it to the best of your skills. There are ways to form your confidence in photography. Here are a few tips.

Know Your Core Values

Photography is something you can learn from experience, or through books. However you choose to learn, make sure you learn the basics. Knowing the basics of light and composition is essential to building your confidence. If you are not sitting and questioning yourself, you are shooting. Study lots of artist and photographers to get a sense of what people like to see.

Know your Camera

Read your manual and keep it with you. If you are shooting with a retro film cameras or don’t have a manual for your digital camera you can find the manual online. Work with your camera, sit with it, and play with every setting. The more you know your camera, the less you fiddle around with it on shoots.

Study Your History

Most people never look back on the history of photography. There is a lot to learn from the past. You see, the photographers who came before us did a lot of work. They may have not had our modern gear, but they were able to develop things like the Zone system and techniques like Rembrandt lighting.

Hit the Shutter

Shoot as much as possible. Staying in and reading about photography does not help you get better. You need to get out there and shoot. You don’t have to show every image, just get out there and press that shutter. Have fun, rinse, and repeat.

 Know Who You Are As a Photographer

You have to believe in yourself. People will criticize your images. Every shot will not be brilliant. They are, however, your images, own them. Learn your strengths and weaknesses and build on them. Good photographers don’t develop overnight. Lots of work has to be put into learning the trade. Success will come if you are willing to be persistent in your work.

There is No Spoon Feeding, Take a Risk

Do not let the ideas live in your head, take a chance and be experimental. Get out there and shoot. Share and shoot some more. Try new techniques. You can have all the ideas for great photos in the world, but they’re useless if you are not out there shooting. The more you shoot and try new things, the more confident you will become. You have to keep your eyes open. The world is always changing and there is always something you have not seen that has not been photographed. If you shoot the same thing all the time, it will get boring. You’re going to make mistakes: learn from them and turn lemons in to lemonade.

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