how to be a creative photographer

Be Different in 2013

5 Ways to Get Started!

Really? … Another blog about how to be a better photographer! I’ve seen about five this week, which inspired me to write this. Photographers are so infatuated with the idea of being better that they forget to be different. I’ll admit, I’m super inspired by other photographers work and will take practical advice from them, but the last thing I want to do is ride their road to success or even worse, become something I’m not. So here’s to being different in 2013.

#1 Do More Personal Work
Why start the New Year doing something you hate or are obligated by? Do what you need to pay the bills, and then do what you love. Take on a personal project that you are excited about. This will renew your love for photography and your passion will show in your work. If it’s possible find someone who shares a similar passion for your ideas and partner up. This will improve the likelihood that the project actually gets completed.

#2 Break the Rules
Rules are important, yet sometimes they have to be broken, tweaked, altered. I can’t stress this Sh%@* enough. I’m not saying turn your camera to P mode and disregard everything the great Zack Arias has taught you, I’m just simply saying experiment. Most the time when you break the rules, you’ll know why there was a rule in the first place. Of course once in a great while you will stumble upon something awesome that you can add to your arsenal. I would suggest that when breaking the rules and trying new techniques that it’s on your time, your budget.

#3 Learn More
I’m a huge advocate of learning. It’s the foundation of what you love. If you aren’t taking the time to properly learn photography you are actually ripping yourself off. Just think, once you understand the basics, how much more creative you can be as a photographer. There are great resources and blogs out there! Creative Live is amazing, Zack Arias has a gnarly blog in which he answers questions about photography and of course you can pick up Jeremy Cowarts Life Finder DVD. So there are no excuses. I would also suggest venturing out of photography and learn about design, painting, whatever else that might spark creativity. Learn something this year.

#4 Don’t Waste Your Time
Time is valuable. Don’t waste it. Stay away from energy vampires! What is an energy vampire you ask? It’s anything and everyone that sucks the life and energy away from you. Do not take projects that aren’t worth your time! Think of all the creative things you could be doing. I would also suggest that you rid yourself of people who are negative and throw dog shit on all your ideas. I think it’s important to work with others and getting creative input from someone other than a loved one. There’s a huge difference between creative input and someone that’s just plain negative. Ditch the negativity and save your time for those who inspire you to work harder and get better and what you do.

#5 Don’t Be Threatened.
Do not be threatened by someone else’s work. There’s always going to be someone that produces good work, but the good news is that you can do the same. That’s why it’s so important to be DIFFERENT. It’s easy to get in the mind frame that if you only had this camera, or those lights, or whatever that you could duplicate something you saw in a blog or magazine. That’s not the point. Instead of getting worked up, get inspired to create something different. It’s also good to share what you know with others who are just starting. It helps shake the idea that anyone can do what you do. If Avedon himself taught you everything he knew, you wouldn’t be Avedon. Be different by being you.