When I look back over past 35hunter posts from months ago, even a year or two back, I’m always shocked at how many comments are from people who used to also have photography blogs, but haven’t kept them going – either regularly, or at all.
“I wonder what happened to [insert name here]’s photography, I haven’t seen them share anything new in ages…”
The most common reason that fellow photographers’ blogs seem to dry up, doesn’t seem to be to do with the blogging aspect at all, but simply because their photography has also dried up, so they feel they have nothing new to share.
Which is especially sad when it’s someone who, when they do photograph regularly, seems to gain such pleasure from it. Much like me, and most probably like you too.
So I thought about some simple tips for helping to keep your photography alive this year that have worked for me in recent times – whether you then blog about it or not.
1. Make time.
This sounds obvious of course, but the crucial word here is “make”.
What we make time from on a regular basis is ultimately how we spend our lives.
If we’re always saying “I haven’t had time”, whether it’s for photography, blogging, family, or anything else, it’s simply down to what we prioritise, what we say yes to, which means we then default to saying no to other important parts of our life.
Making regular time for photography is the starting point for making photos.
If you never carve out that time in your schedule, it’ll never happen.
It’s highly unlikely someone will swoop down from the sky and say “today I’m going to take care of everything else for you, so you can just go and spend the whole day with your camera”.
Instead we have to take charge ourselves and make that time, plan and stick to those photo walks, make them as fundamental a part of our days and weeks and lives as eating, sleeping and breathing.
What else do you do regularly that has less meaning for you than photography? How are you going to re-prioritise some of that time for photography instead?
2. Slim down your gear.
Last year a major project for me was One Month, One Camera, which involved, well using just one camera for a month at a time.
I liked it so much for the months I tried it (six out of the 12) that this year I’m planning to do it every month.
Using just one camera means not deliberating over gear each time you’re about to head out.
Using just one camera means you become so much more familiar with how to use it, and you don’t spend half of the photo walk trying to remember and re-familiarise yourself with a camera you’ve only made a dozen photos with in two years. Every time you go out.
Using just one camera means you get to know its unique strengths and then quietly and confidently find the compositions that fit these best.
Rather than feeling like a tourist with an insane zoom camera with 37 auto scene modes, snapping anything and everything at every focal length and setting, then trying to make sense of the thousand photographs you made that hour later on, and not being happy with any of them.
Slimming down your existing gear usually means you stop looking for more gear too – you step out of that addictive consumption habit where buying one camera leads to another, and another – before you’ve even used the previous six you bought.
Which in turn saves you time and money that can be redirected back into more useful options like photographing more often, and investing in photography books.
3. Photograph what you love to photograph.
Again this might sound obvious, but with so much online influence around us these days, it’s all too easy to get caught in a pattern of photographing what you think will get you most likes/favourites/followers etc.
Perhaps sometimes this creeps up on us even without us realising.
The sting of disappointment you felt after posting new photos you hoped would be loved but were largely ignored, can temporarily be soothed by the ego hit of a few likes or faves on other photos you rattled off without thinking and find positively mediocre in comparison.
Don’t get sucked in though.
Reject all of that superficial attention seeking and instead hunt for the type of compositions (and the type of photography) that brings a big smile to your face and joy to your bones.
You’ll be so much happier with your work in the long term.
Hopefully these three tips will help your photography thrive this year.
Please let us know which resonate most, and feel free to share any of your own tips with us too (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
Thanks for looking.
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