Before talking about the 4 lifestyle habits to learn to photograph…
I’ll explain how I came to write this post on “4 habits of life to learn to photograph”. In some past posts, like this one, I took some time to give advice, and forgive me if “not requested”, to those who are already a photographer and want to develop this ability towards more professional horizons, for work or simply for passion such as happens to me.
At the same time, however, we must not forget that the audience of those who photograph today, also thanks to smartphones, has expanded a lot, and it is no coincidence that social networks dedicated solely to photography such as Instagram, Pinterest or Flickr have enjoyed great success at the time.
Well, the requests that come to me from this slice of the public of “aspiring photographers” concern more generally how to start taking the first steps to ensure that the unaware shot with a reflex camera or smartphone slowly approaches a shot of ‘author.
So guys let’s be clear, it’s a long process and anyone who sells you “short” routes in this sense is actually selling you smoke.
As I have already had the opportunity to say, photography is an art and as such is made up of talent and inspiration, which maybe someone may have innate from birth, but also of a lot of technique and the latter must be learned in the field.
Let’s focus on the latter. How to learn it? What are the five “habits” of life that can facilitate learning photographic techniques?
27 photos per day
The first of the 4 lifestyle habits to learn to photograph is to take 27 photographs a day. Why 27? It is obvious that this is a definite but unscientific number. It is the result of a division between 10 thousand over 365, or the days of the year. Why? Because it is said that repeating something 10,000 times is the minimum number of repetitions that leads you to master the techniques in that “something”. And photography is no exception. Personal experience.
At this point, if you want, in a year, to discover yourself to be a top photographer, make the holy commitment to take at least 27 photos a day. Not 27 shots of your feet obviously. You will have to strive to find in your every day, natural subjects, personal or interesting objects, and worthy of a shot. This exercise, in addition to making you familiar with basic concepts such as exposure time, lighting, focus and color, will also train your creativity, making you more receptive to understanding when the opportunity to immortalize something really interesting happens.
Fix the basics
And, in the first 60 days of training, learn the 4 main skills of photography, one at a time. Start with one and move on to the next only when you feel you have understood everything about the previous one. What are the 4 fundamental skills?
Photographic technique: everything that makes a photograph technically perfect beyond its mere meaning
Artistic meaning: why some photos remain in history and others do not, learn to find the meaning and the cues of emotion that are behind every image.
Understand well what are all the tools that make you a true photographer, and how to best serve the needs
Post processing of the images: taking a nice picture is only the first step, learn to refine your work of art with the best computer adjustments without compromising its original nature
It is impossible to do any project, whether it is to build a house or, as in this case, to develop a figurative art, without setting learning stages. Think about what you feel you can already do well in the photographic field and mark it somewhere. Then think about what you feel you can’t do well. Portraits? Photos in motion or in dark conditions? Mark all your gaps, and give yourself deadlines in order to organize the famous “27 photos a day” mentioned above in order to achieve each of these goals one at a time.
You don’t have to aim for enough. In art it does not exist. There is excellence or, on the contrary, anonymity. Therefore, set your milestones of excellence in photography within the 12 months of learning and, very importantly, do not forget to check your improvements by comparing, for example, the photos taken today with those taken a month ago. Do you see any improvements / changes in the fundamentals you are working on? If everything seems the same to you, maybe you are not following the right path.
Offer yourself to the public
We conclude our overview of the 4 habits of life to learn how to photograph while talking about the public. It is evident that your transition from amateur photograph to level photographer will take place the more your creations are recognized as art by the public.
But opening up to the public also means exposing oneself to judgments. They must always be accepted but not necessarily shared. Display your photographs. Start with the circle of friends and acquaintances but, as soon as possible, look for a comparison even with those who do not know you to have a more neutral opinion on your creations.
You can do this through social media, Instagram above all, which among other things also offer you very simple tools (followers and “likes”) to numerically measure your improvements. If you can, exhibit in galleries and impromptu exhibitions; this will give your audience the opportunity to enjoy your shots directly on film (which is a whole other thing than a smartphone or PC display) and will give you the opportunity to get to know your audience in person. It will be a rewarding but also very formative experience because it will allow you to get involved, listening to appreciation and criticism.