It’s a new year and with that comes a refreshed and energised outlook! No doubt you set yourself some goals and resolutions, both personally and professionally. However, before you know it, you’ve gone back on your promises and fallen into your bad habits. Worse yet, you might not even realise that your old habits are weighing you down and preventing you from becoming a better photographer. So what are some of the bad habits you should be conscious of?
You’re Distracted Too Easily
Few things inhibit productivity more than electronics and social media. Do you really need to receive, yet alone respond to, those SMS messages while you’re in the middle of an important task? A little bit of trawling through social media can be useful to understand current photography trends, news and even advertise your business, but wait until the end of the day to browse through your accounts. It’s far too easy to become distracted by content that spikes our curiosity, and you don’t need a reason to chat via Messenger with your best friend who you last spoke with 12 hours ago.
Missing the Moment
There’s nothing worse than missing that great photo opportunity. Whether it’s a case of you leaving some of your equipment (batteries, lens) at home , being distracted, being self-conscious in a public space, allowing dust on the sensor, thinking you’ve already captured the perfect shot, or ‘chimping’ too often – it’s important to retain your focus and always remain prepared in a photography setting. Of course, sometimes you’ll still miss that perfect shot, but one can only achieve results by trying.
Being Overly Reliant on Editing
Naturally, some degree of editing is not unusual, and there are some styles where post-production editing is part of the effect. However, some photographers fall into a complacent pattern where they disregard getting the photo right the first time when they take it. They might be pressed by time constraints that day and think they’ll be able to fix it all later – something that is by no means guaranteed and may work against you in the future. Similarly, some photographers, often beginners, overprocess their photos because they’re either unfamiliar with the software, or they’re none the wiser.
Blaming Photography Equipment
We’ve touched on this one in the past. Your photography equipment is not what is holding you back the most. It’s your mentality – focusing on it, rather than the creativity and personality behind your work. Stop idealising better gear and master what you’ve got to work with. Worry about things within your control and avoid making excuses.
Don’t Think You Know it All
Simple elements, like understanding the specific features of your camera, shouldn’t be taken for granted. There is little harm in reading the manual that accompanies your equipment, and even if you only learn one thing, you’ll be better for it. At the other end of the scale, listen to and remain receptive towards the feedback of others. It’s important to always keep learning. One of the particular areas is lighting and composition, where one should avoid a reliance on: bright settings, centring their shots and always shooting in the same format.