Often our photography has a lot going for it. Sometimes it lacks a clear identity. Before we display our images, we get them critiqued. The first person who critiques your work should be you yourself. As photographers, we spend a lot of time and money wondering if our images are good. We spend time creating and editing the images. We spend money making sure we store the images correctly. We are all susceptible to flattery and we accept when people tell us our images are nice. With our own image though, we must be brutal and unforgiving.
The question is, just how do you do this? Here some tips to help.
Take Emotion Out of the Photo
When a person looks at your image, they don’t know how difficult or easy it was to create. They are looking at the final result. The experience of taking the photo can effect how you view it. The photo may not be that great though. You have to step back and look at the image through the eye of a viewer. Sometimes this means stepping away from your images for a few days. It requires a bit of patience though. You have to be willing not to show your images all the time.
Be Willing to Delete Unused Images
Be warned that there are some things that, when done, can’t always be undone again. You have to commit to only keeping images that you can use. Yes, memory is getting cheaper, however do you want to spend time worrying about gigabytes of useless data? Keeping just what you need means you have more time to create and you have a better idea of what works.
Try Not to Listen to Others at First
You are creating the image in your own style. It’s your work. If you let others convince you how you should create an image, your work is never truly yours. It’s good to learn from others. But they should be a guide, not an instruction manual. Once you can listen to yourself first, then you can listen to others. If your images looks like they could have been made by someone else, then you should take a pause. It is okay to try to understand someone else’s technique. Other techniques should be used as a learning tool, but not copied.
Ask Yourself, “Would I Buy It?”
Whether your are a professional or not, you have to ask yourself whether you’d purchase your own image. It’s a good indicator of whether others would buy it. If you thinks it’s worth to be placed on someone’s wall, there is a good chance some one else will also. Ask yourself if there is a point to the image. Make sure your image has a clear subject. If you can’t understand the image you created, or you can’t explain it to others, it is not a good image.
Create a photography journal or takes notes on what’s good and what’s bad. This will help you build your style and help you track your progress. You build upon your notes to consistently create quality work. In these notes you can have guidelines for yourself. This will give you a measuring stick for your work. It helps when a client wants a similar image to something you created in the past.