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How to know if we are improving as photographers

February 5, 2020


When I quit my job, two and a half years ago, I found myself with a lot of freedom freedom that I’d never had before: I was free to do whatever I wanted, and take as much time as I needed many people thrive when they are given these conditions, but for me, it was a recipe for disaster and for a while I felt very, very lost you see, I’ve always done a much better job when I had a clear task to perform and some kind of deadline but once I became an artist, I had no clear direction, I didn’t know what it needed to be done so a while ago, I think it was almost 2 years ago, I settled on 3 goals, 3 clear, specific and doable goals share 1 one new image a day, to write one blog post a day, and to make 3 videos a week This might sound counterintuitive at first: you can’t really force your art, you can’t really force your images and it could be harmful, there was the risk that I would lower the quality of my work just to meet those goals to meet the deadlines that I was imposing on myself and sure, there were a handful of times where that was true, but for the most part, having those daily and weekly goals and deadlines has pushed me, and it has made me a much better photographer, a much better writer, and a much better videographer / filmmaker / youtuber When I hit record for this video, I was already thinking about the next one and when I post today’s image, I’m already thinking about tomorrow’s Of course, along with these smaller tasks and goals I have bigger projects that need more flexibility but I like to set deadlines for those as well to keep me on track So to answer the question that is the title of this video How can we know if we are becoming better photographers? How can we measure progress in our photography? I don’t think we can, I think it’s very hard if not impossible, because that is something that requires human feedback, and my taste as a photographer, your taste as a photographer, changes over time because you change as a person photos that I took years ago and I didn’t like at that time, now I love It’s very hard if not directly impossible to know how much better we’ve gotten as a photographer Of course, there’s the technical side of photography, it might be easier to know if we’ve improved in that area or not but in general, I believe that instead of focusing on the images that we make to know if we are better photographers now than before we should pay more attention to the systems that we build I talked about those 3 goals that I set for myself, in your case it might be something different instead of sharing one image a day, it might be “I’m gonna start bringing my camera with me every day I go to work, five times a week” it might be, “I’m gonna go on 1 photography trip a month” or it might be “I’m gonna go on a hike once a week and I’m gonna bring my camera with me” Results are not always guaranteed, but over time, if the system that we built is good and it pushes us out there to take photos and to create something, it’s gonna yield the results that we are looking for I think that’s a better way to measure our progress in photography I hope this video helped someone out there Thank you so much for watching, and see you the next one!

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