Capturing moments is part of our human nature. We want to document everything. And this has increased over the past years with platforms such as facebook and instagram. It's an easy feat to snap a photo or take a video at just about any moment. But some people have a deeper relationship with capturing moments. It is a passion to some. These are natural born photographers/videographers. Although the passion and the drive is there, it doesn't necessarily mean the skill is there. We offer a few points of advice to improving your photography/videography.
1. Take lots of pictures: Everywhere you go and everything you see, take note of it through the eyes of your camera. You can get an idea of where your strengths and weaknesses lie and what you prefer to photograph.
2. Possibly decide on a specialty: Some people are great at capturing explosive news-breaking items in countries throughout the world. They might want to become a photojournalist for a news company. Other people are amazing at capturing the subtly of nature. These people might want to land a job with National Geographic. Whatever your strong suit is, it is easier to perfect your discipline than to attempt becoming an expert photographer/videographer in every arena.
3. Learn from the greats: As the driven photographers and videographers that I know you are, I'm sure that you have your favorite photographers and videographers that you admire. Analyze their work. Take note of what makes their art stand out. You can even try contacting them to ask them about their career path and how they got where they are. The worst they can do is say no.
4. Understand your uniqueness: As I mentioned above, taking photos and making videos is easy stuff now-a-days. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry with a professional camera, or better yet, an iPhone with handy filters, thinks him/herself to be a photographer. WRONG. If you want to beat out the crowd and show why your hard-practiced skills are worth taking note of, then find what is unique about yourself and market it. Without giving you examples from the art world to prevent you from the temptation of imitating, examples from the music world of artists who capitalize on their uniqueness are those like Daft Punk, an electronica duo who most notably never shows their faces. Or Janelle Monae, an R&B singer who only wears a black and white uniform (she explains why in an interview with Color Lines here). What is unique or profound or different about your art that makes you notable?
5. Don't be afraid of criticism: No one likes to be told their work is flat, boring, lacks creativity, and is just plain bad. But sometimes it takes these opinions for one to define him/herself. It is likely that your art will come from your own personal experiences and be important to you. But from someone on the outside looking in, they may not understand. This lack of connecting with your clients can be resolved by making your pieces more understandable. Or you may choose to leave it mysterious. It is certainly up to you. But hearing from clients, fans, investors, and corporations isn't always such a bad thing. It can help develop your skills.
What has you photo/video journey been like? What advice did we miss? Share your story.