Lately there’s been a bad trend in photography: photographers stealing or buying images, to make their portfolios look better. As photographers we must keep growing and learning. If we do not incorporate different styles of photography in to our workflow, our portfolios become stagnant and people will lose interest. To grow you have to make some sacrifices. You have to prove to clients and yourself that you can create the images they need.
Shadow A Photographer Experienced In That Style
To learn a style you may want to find a photographer who understands it. You can ask questions and get insight on how they learned the style. A photographer’s experience in the style you want to learn will have insights to learning materials and books to help guide you. Shadowing a photographer skilled in what you need to know will help you speed up the process of learning. This will also help you build your confidence.
To add another style of photography to you have to be willing to sacrifice a few things. First and foremost you have to give up some time and be not be afraid to fail. You may have to get up earlier to practice your craft. You also have to study and be creative. You need to read up on a particular style you want to learn. You may need to buy a particular lens or some other tool to make this work for you. Just looking a photo is not going to teach you the style. You may have to hide yourself away for a while to master the technique or skill you need to learn so you can produce quality images.
Don’t Show Your Work Publicly Till You Have A Good Grasp
There is no need to embarrass yourself, you have to be a harsh critic of your own work. Unless you a creating blog posts about your learning experience you have to limit what you show. Clients don’t need to see your failures. Let the failed moments be lost in time. Clients only care about the end result. They do not care about the infinite variety of your experiments. You only want to show your best work.
Seek A Critique
After you have been brutal to your own work, show it to others. Find out if it’s good enough to add to your portfolio by letting others judge it. Its good to find an impartial person who is not your competition. Stay away from Flickr where people are, mostly, nice. You can use social media however you run the risk of getting dishonest answers. Put your images in front of photographers who can give you their honest thoughts. This will give you a good idea on the quality of your images over all.
Do Not Reuse The Same Subject
When creating your test images, for your portfolio make sure your subject varies. Never use the same model or subject twice. You want to show your grasp of the style by showing as much variety as possible. Showing the same image subject over and over can seem lazy.