Written by Millionaire’s Digest Team Member: Ed Fetahovic
Founder & Owner of: Monochrome View
Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor, Art and Photography Writer
If you’ve noticed these days that being a photographer is hard work, you’re not the only one. These days you’re not just a photographer, you also have to be a social media expert, you need to find effective and smart ways of getting your work seen (so technically you need to be an experienced PR) you need to be commerce savvy if you want to make it a source of income and worst of all, the competition to get noticed is ridiculously high which means there’s a lot of hard work involved in achieving all of the above.
With so much work required to be a successful photographer, many people find it hard to stay motivated, which is understandable. So what are some ways to keep motivated in your journey? Below are some helpful tips to keep you motivated with your photographic endeavors.
Not every photo session or photo-walk you do needs to produce award-winning work
I see this a lot. Every time someone goes out to do a photo walk or does a studio session they expect to have photos to post online/ high-quality photos to showcase. I feel like this puts too much pressure on the creative process which leads to stress removing the fun and enjoyment out of photography. Don’t feel like you need to produce award-winning work every time you take a photo. Be comfortable with the fact that you’re always learning and that every photo you take is a step towards getting a better photographer. Before you head out, remind yourself that the idea is to have fun and be creative, not stress and worry about the outcome of your photos. If you miss a shot, or your settings weren’t correct, forgive yourself and look for the next opportunity. You’ll learn to improve with every missed opportunity.
Try different styles
Many established and professional photographers find a style and stick to it, and that’s ok, but even they engage and look for other opportunities to take photos of different things. If you’re a landscape photographer or a commercial portrait photographer, it doesn’t mean you can’t also be a street photographer or fine art photographer. Trying different styles allows you to discover new techniques and ways of looking at subjects. This helps restores your eye and point of view in your main style. It also stops you from burning out overworking your main style of choice. It’s important to keep things fun otherwise you’ll burn out. Especially if you feel like you’re not progressing or enjoying the process.
Take a break
If you need a day off, things outside of your photographic endeavours are piling up and you just can’t find the time, then let yourself rest. Forcing yourself to do something when you are tired will only lead to burning out and you becoming begrudged by the process. Your work may suffer for it too, especially if you’re just going through the motions. Let yourself have a breather and allow time to catch up with what you need to do, there’s no loss in a day off, photographic opportunities are always about and they’re not going away anytime soon.
Go out with friends and other enthusiasts
This one’s pretty simple, going out with friends and enthusiasts should be and usually is fun and rewarding. You can bounce ideas off each other, learn from each other but most importantly make the process of photography fun and enjoyable. There are always photography groups going out for walks or if you’re lucky and have a couple of friends into the same style as you set a time and date with them and make a day of it. Bringing your friends along and enjoying the creative process keeps motivation high because it’s fun to enjoy the creative process with others.
Find any excuse to go out and take photos.
Most people do it right, they make excuses to avoid the things they don’t want to do, I’ve certainly done it plenty of times, and I bet you have too one time or another. “Eh, I can do that tomorrow” or “I’d rather watch the TV than do *important thing*”. Whenever these excuses are made you end up doing the thing you’ve made the excuse for, be it whatever. On a psychological level, making that excuse is a sense of affirmation to do the thing you’re not meant to be doing in its place. So make an excuse for photography. “I’ll do the dishes after I go for a walk and take some photos”. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the first place you should go to for motivation, but it certainly helps when you’re on the couch and feeling a little too lazy for your own good.
I hope these tips help, and if you have your own techniques for keeping motivated please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!!
Article Credits: Ed Fetahovic
Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor