Photography can be frustrating. It will draw you in with promises of creative expression and images that make people gasp at your genius, then leave you dismayed with grey, dull and lifeless pictures that you tuck away on your hard drive never to see the light of day.
But don’t despair! If you have reached the point where your camera is collecting more dust than images, it is possible to fall in love with photography again! Here’s how:
Focus on the process rather than the outcome
Forget trying to get that award winning picture! Counter-intuitive I know. But with photography, as with most things in life, it is important to enjoy the journey. Whether that means getting out early in the morning to see a sunrise across the countryside, or mucking about as you interact with the subject of your portrait, just make sure that you enjoy the process. That way it doesn’t matter too much about the pictures you get; any ‘keepers’ are a bonus!
But what about the weather?
I know what you’re thinking. What if I plan to go to a lovely place for sunrise and the weather is poor? This means that I have got up early, I have not seen the lovely sunrise and the warm light over the countryside, and I definitely don’t have any good images! If you live in the UK in particular this is very much a possibility. So you need a few other things in place:
- Go with a friend or two. Then at the very least you can go for a coffee and a chat, and plan your next adventure!
- Have a plan B. Certain subjects work well in bad weather – waterfalls for instance. You can also try some long exposure milky water effects, or concentrate on macro.
- Switch to monochrome. Channel your inner Ansel Adams and shoot in black and white. Your grey sky will look just like it would if it was a clear blue sky!
And you have to admit, getting out in the fresh air even if the weather is not great is usually much better than sitting at home!
Stop buying new gear
Don’t give in so easily to those clever marketing departments at Canon and Nikon! There is nothing more likely to drain you of your enthusiasm than finding out that your next upgrade has not turned you in to National Geographic photographer after all. See our post on avoiding the never ending upgrade syndrome.
Find new photography friends
Not only will the social aspect make your photography more enjoyable, the enthusiasm of others will rub off on you and the way they approach their photography will help to give you ideas and refresh your own approach. Nowadays it is easy to find others that enjoy photography. Your town or city is likley to have a camera club there are numerous Facebook groups you can join. We particularly recommend trying meetup.com. It’s on the internet but is all about meeting up so won’t you end up joining a group that will not take you any further than your computer screen!
Try a new genre
If landscapes are your thing, try portraits. If it is street photography that floats your boat, try some macro or still life. Remember that photography is about seeing the world, capturing its beauty, quirkiness, detail and meaning. The more genres that you can do this with, the more photographic opportunities you’ll have, and the less frustrating it will be.
Learn to edit
A few skills in editing can drastically increase your hit rate. ‘Maybes’ become ‘keepers’ and ‘keepers’ become ones to hang on the wall! Learning editing is now easier than ever – just get on YouTube and start watching some tutorials.
Go on a photography holiday
We promise that this whole blog post has not been about plugging our holidays! But we really do have a passion for photography and travel. We know that venturing to a new destination with a like-minded group to take photos of incredible people and places is truly rewarding, and guaranteed to reignite your passion for photography like nothing else!