Five Steps to a creating a photography practice





Well, my plan this week was to write about capturing action in your photographs. But then I realized I actually don’t do much of that myself…except in my client sessions.  (Just in case you were looking forward to a tutorial on action, this is a great one. ) Despite the fact that I have two boys and a very silly husband, our house is not a loud and chaotic one.  We have our share of dance parties and couch fort mayhem, but for the most part we move pretty slowly and the volume is medium-low. (I anticipate this will change as Caleb grows). Nevertheless, I have noticed that as I continue to capture a portrait a week of my family, most of the images have an element of stillness in common.  Finding the quiet moments to get behind the camera seems to work best for me.  Knowing where personal photography fits in my weekly routine has made it much easier to pick up my camera and shoot. In order to improve our photography, I am convinced that routine is essential so that we are constantly practicing, evaluating and evolving our skills. Here are a few ideas to start putting a practice into place:

1) Name the barriers. Are there reasons that you don’t take pictures more often?  Make a list and include all the reasons you don’t get your camera out.

2) Find a good time to include photography in the rhythm of your day or week.  I have found that I like to take pictures at home right now rather than when we are out and about.  (This might change when summer finally arrives.)  I will most often get the camera out just as the boys are finishing nap or quiet time.  They are happy, rested and patient with my experimentation.  And there is time before they wake for me to think about lighting and composition.

3) Edit your photos immediately. If possible download images the same day.  I usually spend some time in bed with my laptop looking at the images I took that day and choosing the ones I want to edit.  I may not get through all the editing, but I have the photos sorted into folders, deleted the out-takes, and most importantly I have gained important feedback on what worked and what didn’t’ while the details are still fresh.

4) Share. Share. Share. Social media has triggered a good deal of resistance for me over the years.  I still have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Facebook, but I have really embraced Instagram for sharing my photo journey.  I think one of the most powerful and positive elements of social media is that is can help keep us motivated to CREATE.

5) Learn from your mistakes. Be kind to yourself and honor your creative process.  Not every image may meet your expectations, but over time (if you keep up the practice) your  pictures will get stronger and stronger as you become more intentional about your vision and more confident controlling your camera.


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