Why You May be Failing to Reach Your Potential as a Photographer


There are a number of reasons why someone might not succeed at reaching their full potential, more than I can cover in this article, so please feel free to add to this list by telling us what obstacles get in your way. If you have solutions to someone else’s problem, feel free to offer up some advice, and help out a fellow photographer.


What does it mean to reach one’s potential?

Reaching your potential can be a bit arbitrary as everyone has different ideas of what success means. In order to simplify this article a little, let’s make a couple of assumptions to define the photographer we are talking about.

Assumption #1 – The photographer in question is someone who wants to improve their work through the long haul. This photographer may or may not want to become a professional, but they do want to look back on their portfolio and be proud of what they have accomplished.

Assumption #2 – For the sake of this article things out of the control of our make believe photographer – i.e. financial situation, health, and social/family aspects of life – are not the cause of their failure to reach their potential.

What then, are the obstacles that may be holding you back?

Lack of confidence

Think about learning a new skill. At the beginning you’ll most likely have a low level of confidence, but this is off-set by a high level of excitement to try something new. As time goes on though, that newness wears off and you’re left feeling like you’ve gotten yourself in over your head – does that sound familiar?


With photography there is so much information available on the web, so many people to compare yourself to, so many clubs to join, and so many things to buy, that it can become overwhelming for you to figure out the right path to take forward.

This frustration can lead to confusion, or even doubt over the decisions you’ve made, making this a common question, “Did I buy the right lens/tripod/software?”.

The simplest advice that can be given in this situation is to try to block out the distractions around you. Try to focus on your own improvement, and benchmark your current photography against what you did last month, or last year. This will help showcase your personal triumphs, allowing you to stay confident in your progress.

Lack of Motivation

If there’s one thing that will stop you from reaching your potential, it’s lack of motivation. Photography requires a lot of time and energy. You have to plan shoots, find subjects, work with models or nature, often travel to a location – a lot goes into photography.


To compound this, motivation will often peak when something is new, but as you visit the same location a few times, use the new lens repeatedly, or master the new technique you read about, the level of motivation you get from these things starts to wane.

In order to avoid stalling out due to lack of motivation, one thing you can do is to keep trying new things. One of the best ways to do this is to participate in themed challenges, like those here on dPS weekly. Another option would be to join a local photography club, or even an online community, to allow you to meet other photographers and share ideas.

Not investing in the right gear

You probably know that gear alone can’t make you a better photographer, but the wrong gear can certainly hold you back.


Trying to cut corners on cheap tripods, poor quality bags, or inferior lens filters, will do more harm than good. One could argue that poor quality gear will actually hurt your photography, more than high quality gear will improve it. So invest wisely, but be careful not to fall into the next hurdle.

Relying on gear to carry you

As mentioned above, some investment is necessary in order to set yourself up for success. However, too much reliance on the gear you buy will only hold you back. Thinking that upgrading to full frame will improve your photography is not the right reason to buy a new $2,000 dollar camera.

When it comes to investing in new gear there are two questions you should ask yourself:

  1. What is the driving force behind your desire to upgrade?
  2. How will the desired upgrade fill a need in a way that your current gear cannot?

Hopefully by answering these questions you’ll be able to find out whether or not the gear that you’re inquiring about is a want or a need, and how big of an impact it will have on the photographs you produce.

What else stops you from achieving your potential?

Let us know in the comments what hurdles you face as a photographer. What stops you from achieving your potential, and maybe we as a community can help you find ways to tackle that challenge.

Editor’s Note: This is one of a series of articles this week that are Open for Discussion. We want to get the conversation going, hear your voice and opinions, and talk about some possibly controversial topics in photography.

Let’s get it started here – do you agree or disagree with the points in the article above? Do you have any others to add? Give us your thoughts below, and watch for more discussion topics each day this week.

See all the recent discussion topics here:

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

John Davenport is the creator of PhoGro an online community that aims to help you grow your photography through engagement with other photographers. Join today! John also offers a free email course 6 Weeks to Better Photos. This course covers the most important techniques you need to learn when getting started with photography.

  • B S

    I agree with this because I constantly suffer from a lack of confidence and it’s often made worse by others putting me down because I’m a newbie and don’t have expensive equipment, most of the time I’m judged without anyone even taking a look at my work. I’m not the best but it doesn’t help to be constantly reminded of that.

  • kenneth

    Fully agreed with John Davenport, new gear does not make you a good photographer, what needed is made full use of the gear in hand and understand its function thru and thru. Jumping in a wagon whenever a new product is introduced is not sensible.

  • john

    I simply couldn’t leave your web site before bookmarking it because I actually loved it. It’s so well created and very informative. I will also try to make my site http://www.guruguidez.com good looking as I learned it from yours. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  • Paul

    I think lack of confidence is the #1 thing holding back most photographers. With the explosion of social media and the access to literally billions of images every day, we tend to compare ourselves to every great image we see and instantly think “I’m not that good, so why bother trying?” or “I don’t have access to those great locations so I’ll never get an image like that.” You gave great advice to compare yourself only to your prior self so you can easily see your progress and actually how quickly you are growing as a photographer. Crawl, Walk, Run. You can’t jump straight to running.

  • Yep – I’d say this is certainly #1 and it can often lead to a lack of motivation or a feeling that you need better gear. But you’re right, social media makes having confidence in yourself more difficult – just when you think you’ve got something there’s someone there to knock you down a peg. Comparing to yourself is the best way to go – it takes discipline though.

  • Thanks! Glad you liked the article and found it useful. I hope that people can take away those two simple questions about upgrading their gear. It’s not that upgrades are worthless or that they won’t improve your photographs or workflow, but they need to be clear about whether the upgrades are truly necessary or if they are more along the lines of a “I want this new shiny thing that all the pros are talking about on social media”.

  • It’s very difficult to share your work on social media there’s always going to be someone who critics your work. The key is to work slow, work at your own pace, and be happy with the small steps that you make yourself. I do agree though it is difficult when people continue to knock you down – especially if you’ve thought that you’ve made progress.

  • Wiebke

    Well the social media thing can go in both directions. Years ago (around 2007/2008) I was persuaded to publish some of my photos in a forum (lotrplaza) that has nothing to do with “professional photography”. I never thought to be good enough to publish anything there, but got encouraging feedback from others right away. Since then I have read countless magazines, blogs and books about photography, just because I wanted to know more and I guess I have developed my skills further since then. Even got my first DSLR back in those days, with a clear decision that it would not have any of those “landscape”, “portrait”, “sport”… programs but just the basic ones (Aperture Priority, Manual, Shutter Priority,…) because I decided to go manual and never again use those programs and the only way to do so was to not have them in the first place…
    Now I have my own website and have published a couple of calendars as well. Non of this would have happened without the folks from lotrplaza and later on my best friend pushing me just a little bit further.

    But of course if you happen to go to the “wrong” social media sites to start with…you might not be as lucky as I was.

  • oji kanu

    1.Schedule…..I turn my work related trips into photo ops as I have fewer and fewer free days to dedicated photography.

    2.Motivation.. I try and stay motivated by reading articles and looking and appreciating other people’s pictures…

  • Good points. I would add another though – lack of artistry. Now artistry can be defined in many different ways, but it always boils down to having a vision of what you want and the imagination to translate that vision into something uniquely meaningful. Knowledge is a key component – you will stimulate your own imagination considerably more if you are aware of the work of the great photographers and painters through study plus trips to art museums and galleries. Really anything except the ‘popular’ photography boards, where almost all you see there is emulation after emulation. Often technically great but artistically empty. Movies are another great source of photographic imagination, the finest cinematographers easily on the same level as the finest still photographers. Great photography requires an open and questing mind; get that, and you’ll find that much else in your life moves to a higher level as well.

  • Tim Lowe

    In a lifelong attempt to improve my photography, I’ve lately found that I grow through adding constraints. Rather than photographing everything and anything, I need to train my eye to see good (hopefully great) images in the realm of the possible. “Gear” becomes more and more primitive. A camera, a light meter, a tripod. I’m teaching myself large format. It’s all constraints, strategy and light.

    The digital photographer can do the same. Turn off all those automatic features. Set your meter to spot mode. Learn the zone system and carry one prime lens. It is amazing what it does for creativity.

  • Jack

    None of the points in John’s article seem to apply however, I just don’t seem to get the images that I desire. I shoot sports. I constantly view other’s shots, occasionally from the same event I am shooting. The equipment we use is of equal quality, the angles and lighting are the same, but the difference in images is almost like comparing HD to non-HD. It has to be in the camera setup, composition and post processing. But given the same environs and equipment, there’s not a lot of variation in the setup. Where can I go to gain knowledge on post processing and composition?

  • Constraints can be a great tool in improving photography. Through implementing constraints you end up having to think creatively about how you will capture the scene in front of you and this can only build upon itself. Great advice!

  • You’re right – the one big area that I left out of this article was lack of skill. Whether it’s early on and you’ve only just begun learning or if you’re struggling to grasp some of the finer concepts of photography it can certainly hold you back. Both the process of learning and finding the tools to learn properly can be challenging so I think this is a valid question.

    DPS has some great general articles on composition and post production techniques which could be a good place to start. Another option would be to find a course or workshop that specializes in sports photography as this is a highly specialized type of photography a lot of the more general education articles will only touch the surface and you’d need more detail guides to get the specific details related to your style.

    All in all though I’d say continue to shoot, practice, and grow and you will slowly improve over time. Thanks for the comment!

  • Great point Richard – thanks for the comment!

  • That’s very true – social media and online (or offline) communities can be hugely beneficial to growth too. It truly depends on the health of the community, some can be more open to helping and providing helpful feedback, where as others can simply make you want to curl up in a ball.

    I do think that there are more good people than bad people out there, but the problem is that those bad experiences can really cut deep – early on in the development of a new skill – this can actually cause someone to completely stop trying.

    That said I always encourage people to seek out supportive communities. Actively engaging and discussing a skill/hobby with others who are on the same journey is probably one of the fastest ways you can improve that skill.

  • Terri Valkyrie

    Personally, I struggle with motivation, it fluctuates, but then we can’t make assumption #2 about me, there are things in my life that get in the way, though I could try harder to get them out of my way, so that still goes back to motivation. And where I need to motivate myself is to actually go out and shoot and to find ways to do things despite my “bad gear” that really doesn’t hold me back, there is always a way if you try hard enough. I know this, I have succeeded, though I do have a decent tripod now and a good bag now – the tripod became glaringly obvious during a paid job when it broke. I used all my profits that day to get a decent one, that is the one single piece of gear that I believe really needs to be good quality. The bag – I didn’t realize how much easier things would go with a nice backpack, glad I got one on sale, but that’s less about photography than convenience and comfort, it doesn’t improve my photos.

    For other people that I see out there – what I have noticed is that people get hung up on settings. “What are the best settings…” is a question I see far too often that really can’t be answered. In certain situations it can be (like shooting the moon in a dark night sky, for instance, because it always looks the same) but for “portraits outside” – no one online can answer that, though people do answer, and what is holding those folks back is the misunderstanding that it is that simple. Learning the exposure triangle and practicing until the cows come home is the only way you will ever know how to use manual settings and come to the realization that you don’t always have to use manual settings, that sometimes priority modes are the right choice. Particularly when it comes to using Auto ISO, most of the time (if you’re not in a highly controlled environment) it makes a lot more sense. They are being held back by the idea that it’s like learning species of birds rather than something more akin to learning to drive – where you can’t ask someone “how hard do I push the gas pedal” or “how far do I crank the wheel” and expect an answer that will work on every road and every corner. That is the biggest mistake I see people making that will hold them back – thinking that you can take a short cut to understanding. You can’t do that – you have to learn and experiment until knowing your settings becomes an educated guess. If people really do need to learn that way – then they have to ask someone who is right there with them at the scene, because every scene is different and every vision of the final capture is too.

    The best way to gain knowledge is to read a lot of articles and then go forth and put the things you read about into practice. 99% of the time when someone asks “what are the best settings” I post them a link to this very site and tell them that it’s a great place to start their education.

  • Terri Valkyrie

    I shoot with some pretty low level gear (Canon T3 and 5 lenses – none of which are more than $500) and manage to do just fine with it. While I would like to improve what’s in my bag (and money is the issue) I certainly don’t let it hold me back. I read an article once (maybe it was on this site?) about a guy who really wanted to photograph birds but couldn’t afford a nice tele – so he learned to sit very quietly until the birds came. There is always a way. For me, I lean on post processing, I have those tools to use and I use them to their fullest.

    So, while 10FPS on a 7Dii will make my life a lot easier when shooting sports, I still successfully shoot sports with what I have, I just have to try a lot harder. That trying harder has taught me many things that those who go out and buy the best gear right off the top will never have the opportunity to learn. I have confidence that I can learn to do it – consistency in motivation is my problem if I have one, sometimes I’m very motivated, other times I sit around commenting on articles when I should be out shooting.

  • I think the backpack reference might be niche specific, for me, when I take landscape photographs having an uncomfortable back for a long hike makes me not even want to take my camera with me. It’s not that I get better photographs with a comfortable bag, but anything that potentially limits my desire to take photographs is worth improving upon.

    That said I think the most important part of what you wrote is the idea of learning the fundamentals of photography and how to apply those fundamentals in a variety of situations effectively. I agree that new photographers often do get hung up on the “what settings did you use for that photograph?” questions and then they go out and take every photograph with those settings – not the right approach. Your idea of learning the basics, and truly understanding what they mean and how they work, is absolutely the right way to learn.

    DPS is a great resource for anyone to start their education thanks for the referral! 🙂

  • Terri Valkyrie

    For those that have lots of money to throw at gear, they do need to be very clear about whether they actually need something or not – for those of us who cannot do that – we learn to work with what we have and find ways around it. Maybe that involves DIY lighting, maybe learning to sit quietly and wait for birds to come within our focal range. Gear never holds you back, only lack of creative problem-solving does.

  • John – should you have a moment to view the photos on my website and Flickr account (linked at website) I would love any feedback and constructive criticism. I always learn from critiques. Thanks

  • Terri Valkyrie

    Composition? Here – there are lots of great articles on composition on this site.

    Editing? You’re best to go to youtube and search out tutorials and run through them until you get good at it. It will quite likely take a very long time before you are proficient. I personally prefer Photoshop as an editing tool because it is the most powerful and while Lightroom is getting to be a lot more flexible, it still does not have the capabilities of Photoshop. Those that you see are probably using PS as well, if there is that much of a difference. There’s a big learning curve, but it will cost you nothing but time – there are some very kind people who have made videos that will teach you anything and everything about PS editing.

  • Terri Valkyrie

    Really good point – I said above somewhere that my crappy gear doesn’t hold me back and in fact it requires that I find ways to get around it, that I will have opportunities to learn things that people with the top-of-the-line gear will never have to struggle with – making my own light modifiers requires me to truly understand how it works, for instance. Honing my shutter finger to catch action with a much slower frame rate (or single shot) is something someone with a camera that does 10FPS will never have to learn. People who go out and buy all the gear end up drowning in a sea of choices, none of which they likely understand well enough to use effectively. I never buy new gear until I feel as though I can use what I have to its fullest potential. On the “one prime lens” – my photography took its biggest leap when I got a nifty fifty and had to use my feet to zoom. My perspective and composition improved by leaps and bounds!

  • George Johnson

    I find that personally for me social media is a double edged sword. On the one hand it has lead me to meet some of the best photographers in the UK, discuss photography and share ideas and has even lead to me working on a book. The other, darker side is being bombarded by images every few seconds in feeds or scrolling through forums, you see ideas, concepts or even fully realised images that just wipe the floor with your own, that’s very tough to handle after almost a decade of shooting, to know you’re barely scratching the surface of what you could be doing. I find that concepts and ideas hit me hardest though. I’ve shot enough to know how most images are shot and edited, however when I see someone shooting an old idea but in an exciting new way that hits hard, I begin to question why I didn’t have such a simple and brilliant idea for a composition with the experience I have, I begin to wonder why I’m not coming up with new ideas, am I past it ‘cos I’m don’t have these amazing new ideas?

    Art is such a horrendously subjective thing, keeping your faith in your own abilities is a constant struggle. You have to find a balance between finding “fans”, people who do like what you do and will bolster your ego when you need it, but you also need to find peers who are just out of reach from you so you always have something to reach for, it’s not an easy balance to find.

    I think you also have to learn to be very selective with what you look at in terms of motivation. If you look at image after image and you may find yourself not only feeling down but also being affected by these images and subconsciously you may start to copy them rather than trying to plow your own furrow. When I first started I would try to absorb everything I could find about photography, I had no idea what I wanted so I would copy every idea I could find to learn from it. As I advance I find myself being far more selective about what I study, I only watch the images of a handful of my favourite photographers and for inspiration and motivation I much prefer looking at older work by people like Bresson, Dosineau, Parr, Atget, Tony Ray-Jones, the older masters of photography, I find their simple and effective approach to compositions far more inspiring than a thousand simialr cloned images on places like 500px for example.

  • Terri Valkyrie

    I totally agree on the bag because I recently went to a “grand opening sale” at a camera shop near me and received a $10 off coupon that was only good for that day. They had premium backpacks on “door crasher” sale for $50, so I ended up getting a bag that was regularly priced at $125, for $40. My old bag was getting a bit small so I figured, why not? Good deal and all. I had no idea how much of a difference it would make. I like to hike too, or go on long photo walks where I’m not sure what I’ll find and thus what I’ll need. I can walk longer with it now, I can access things in it much more easily, so maybe I will get a shot I would have missed while digging for the right piece of the puzzle. I would absolutely recommend a good quality bag now, while I wouldn’t have before I got one. It really helps with my motivation problem!

    DPS is where I started, back while I was still using a point and shoot. 85% of my direction in photography came from here. It’s an excellent resource and I’m always happy to refer people along. The great thing about DPS is that the articles are not long and overly technical, small easily digestible bites for people who may not be so inclined to learning by the self-motivated method, or even those of us who are but are overwhelmed by the new language we need to learn, you guys make it easy.

  • Tim Lowe

    LOL! Try one frame/10 mins. (If you get really good at it.) Also try $5 every time you release the shutter. Makes you THINK.

  • Terri Valkyrie

    I have seriously thought of picking up an old film camera. I keep seeing them on the local “for sale” boards for pretty reasonable prices. I think if I shoot with film for a couple months it will help me to stop being so sloppy with my settings. I lean on Photoshop, and while I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, I think honing my attention on site will help me to improve overall. My only concern is finding somewhere to get it developed without having to sell a kidney.

  • Tim Lowe

    You can pick up a 35mm film camera for $100 or less. Look for one that takes your DSLR lenses. Another $100 for a changing bag, tank/reel and some easy chemicals.

    Or you could just go big – https://www.flickr.com/photos/harebaremi/26963358861/ 😉

  • Wiebke

    Actually I haven’t found a photography backpack that suits my needs. When I am out I want to bring my camera, my tripod, lenses and filters…but I also want to bring a bottle of water and most of the time a jacket and a sweater in case it gets cooler later on. But most of the backpacks I can get here are not wide enough to handle my camera with battery grip and gps attached or they won’t let me fit a tripod…
    So I ended up using a regular sport backpack and put my stuff in there…

    But what I learned just a few years ago is that if you get the straps of your backpack fitted the “right” way you won’t feel its weight. It was quite amazing actually as my friend fitted my backpack after we had walked for maybe 20 minutes and within seconds I wondered if he had taken everything out because it felt as if nothing was in. But the very same equipment as before was in the backpack… (I would guess it had about 10kg/22lbs inside…)

  • Terri Valkyrie

    The first time I took it out I was going to down to the lake shore during a festival, we had to park very far away. The one I got was all those things that you said (has spots for sweaters, even a small sleeping bag if you want), tripods, a side pocket for a bottle of water, etc. I walked for a good 3-4 hours with it on, stopping to shoot various things, changing my lenses as needed, and we were almost back to the car and I said to my partner, “I don’t even FEEL this thing on my back, in fact, I think it feels better walking this long with it than it would if I didn’t have it” – it seems to help me walk without slouching (I have back issues due to an old car accident). It has been the best investment I’ve made for photography in years.

  • Wiebke

    Somewhere – can’t remember right now where – I read an article about how to comment on photos (or basically on everything). Honestly it is nice if someone tells you they like your photo. Of course it feels bad if they tell you right into your face “that sucks” or “why did you show this crab” or what ever else one might get in bad comments. But actually both the like and the hate comment are equally poor when it comes to learning why a photo worked or not worked. So as long as they don’t tell you on social media why your work sucks, it does not suck they just had a bad day 🙂
    I admit it I don’t leave long comments on FB most of the time, but if the photographer asks for help in what to do better or constructive critique I try to. One time though that photographer answered “I am not here for constructive feedback, I want to show what I photographed and not learn new skills”(not a professional photographer)…

  • Terri Valkyrie

    I’m not quite sure I’m ready to go that old school – but maybe one day, let’s see how I do with a more standard SLR first. I’ve seen (standard SLR) film cameras on the local site for around $45 without lenses, and there seem to be enough lenses for sale too that aren’t too costly- and I would stay with Canon so I could potentially use my DSLR lenses as well. Can you tell me exactly what “a changing bag, tank/reel and some easy chemicals.” are? I’m a digital child. 🙂

  • Tim Lowe

    It’s a good place to start. Beware, it’s addictive.

    Here is one of dozens of b/w film development tutorials on youtube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IymXunwspUA

  • Terri Valkyrie

    Awesome, thank you.

  • waynewerner

    > How will the desired upgrade fill a need in a way that your current gear cannot?

    That’s probably the most fundamental question that’s driven each of the gear purchases that I’ve made. I bought my first DSLR because I was frustrated with the shutter lag on my point and shoots and cell phone cameras. And I wanted to learn more about the exposure triangle.

    I bought a used Nikon D70s from craigslist. It was a fantastic camera until my children knocked it off of a tripod. “Having a DSLR” was the next need I had, and I bought a D100 off eBay. It was also quite a good camera, but I started to get frustrated by the terrible low-light performance, slow write speed, and a couple of hot pixels. After reading Ken Rockwell’s bit about changing to Canon from Nikon, I decided to make the switch myself, but this time go with a new(refurbished) but still entry-level camera, and I picked up the Canon T5. It also came with a 70-300mm tele (and 18-55mm). They worked fairly well, but at a max aperture of I think f/4.5, I needed something that would perform better in available light so I could take pictures of my son in the hospital. I picked up the Canon 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens, and learned why people rave about primes. In some cases I could take a shot with the 40mm and crop it down and get the same level of detail as my 70-300mm.

    Then recently, dealnews posted a sweet deal on the Lensbaby Spark Duo package, and I picked that up for $70 from B&H. Learning how to use the tilt-shift lens has been another challenge, but has allowed me to do quite a few things that I couldn’t do with any of the other lenses that I have.

    I also finally upgraded my computer, from the one that I have had for 8 years now. The one I have isn’t the best, and I know that upgrades are in the future, but for now it’s not holding me back yet.

    One of these days I may find out that I actually enjoy shooting in RAW. But maybe not. I like a simplified workflow.

  • Gro Wikheim Korsmoe

    Thank you for sharing, John! You seem to have understood the basic truth of art 😉 And I feel at home in your advices about comparison.

  • Becky Pearman

    Try the Ruggard line from B&H or Amazon. I LOVE my backpack. I shot the World Young Riders Endurance Championship (equines) in Santo Domingo Chile last fall, and I upgraded to the Ruggard Thunderhead 75 for the trip. It is very roomy, comfortable even with my laptop, two bodies, 70-200 lens (plus several others), tripod, flash etc. etc. It fit in most overheads and I had space for water, snacks and other misc gear. Even the 55 would be plenty roomy for hikes or other outdoor travel

  • LBN

    I have a creative eye, but I am horrible at math i.e. Focal points & how to figure out speeds, etc. I just can’t wrap my brain around it. I am a right side of brain person so I feel limited by this. I need someone to explain it to me in ways I can understand and get the Aha! moment

  • Axel

    Time, is certainly the most challenging problem. After “normal” work, getting things done for the family, sharing photography with other hobbies, like sport (for health reasons) … Weekends often concentrate all activities you can’t do during the week. If the weather is bad as well, then photography really suffers…

  • Wiebke

    Thank you for the tip, too sad it is not sold in Norway (yea, I could order it online, but add at least 50$ for shipping and then another 25% in taxes…).
    Well my sport-backpack does the trick for me 🙂

  • Wiebke

    What backpack are you using?

  • Bruno

    In my case, and I think in a lot of others too, the age holds you back a lot even though it really shouldn´t. Commonly when you are elder and think it´s too late to start from the bottom. But also a lot of very young photographers that think that dedicating to this is not a “mature” thing to do, simply because you can´t take a teen seriously. That is probably the main thing that holds me back, being 16 years old..

  • Romana Stano

    Hi All! For me personally, I struggle with finding a clients. But not only paid clients, but basically anyone willing to go out and have their pictures taken. Of course, I did try to ask my friends, colleagues, social media. However, I am stuck. It is a bit frustrating as I don’t lack confidence in my ability, I just think that UK market is not so open to photography as for example in my country. For comparison, my friend started with her photography about same time and she now and has booked all year 2017 for weddings. Does anyone from the UK has same feelings? Good luck to everyone! 🙂

  • Rob March

    I feel I mainly suffer from a lack of motivation coupled with a mix of lack of confidence. I feel like I’m going to the same places and getting the same shot, or I can’t get myself to new places or even try new photography, like street photography. I also suffer from post-processing fear. I have no trouble really taking the photo and uploading them, but I feel I either HAVE to do more than I am, or I won’t be able to do what needs to be done to make the photograph great.

  • oji kanu

    If this will help your confidence, I once read this from a top notch photographer I can not remember who. He said that, you have to shoot at least 15000 pics before you see any improvement in your skills.He shot twice that number before he got better.The trick is to keep shooting and not beat your self down.

    There is nothing wrong going to the same place and taking pictures of the same subject. But try taking the same subject from different positions,on on your knees, lying on your belly, take it with f3.5 aperture or lower if your lens can go lower, take the same subject at f9,f16, take it with the sun shining from the left side of the subject, take a photography of the sun shinning from the right side of the subject,take it at dawn, take it at dusk,take a picture of the subject with a color polarizer filter if you have one and without it, mount your camera on a tripod and take the subject, take it with remote cable release,try it without a cable release and instead use the camera shutter button , take the picture hand held without a tripod,take a picture of the subject at 24mm focal length, take it at 70mm focal length or more.Go though all your images, you will have taken at least 10 different images of the same object from different angles,different focal lengths,different light conditions,different background,sharply focussed, blurred and shaky. You will notice changes in your images.Some you will like, others you will not like and understand why you do not like them.From there you will begin to grow.

    To build confidence and knowledge, I also read a lot on anything photography.From exposure, metering,composition,gear, light meter,making that razor sharp focus, just about anything you can think of.I want to see things from other people’s perspective,experience and techniques.Fortunately with the internet the resources are limitless and best of all free.People are willing to share their knowledge freely!

    Like you my most dreaded area is post processing.I have 3 different books each on Lightroom and Photoshop, just to understand what these software do.I have not read through any of theses books, as I get bored.The problem is not the books but me. To overcome that I have spent time reading and practicing on getting it right in camera, so I do not have to do much post processing.You still have to do some post processing but not a whole lot.

    Hopefully, I am making that long but steady transition between taking snap shots (that is being shutter trigger happy) to photography (the art of understanding and working with light).

    It is an inspiring journey that cost time and yes, money. Beware of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome). Get what you need for the time being and not what seems good to have !

  • oji kanu

    Art has no limit. Once you understand that, you will not put milestones on yourself. The great artists/painters/photographers never believed in a finished work.Appreciating your imperfection/errors is the motivation that propels any art and not the attainment of perfection/success.The attainment of success is the end of art.

  • Jeremiah Williams

    For me it would be more of balancing the time commitments with other hobbies that are of equal or higher priority where I haven’t gotten over the learning curve…..but as of late (in addition to my 365 self-portait project that has been very consistent….) I have been spending 15 or 30 minutes here and there each day to edit, delete, evaluate and organize my work.

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