Five Ways to Improve Your Photography in the New Year (Plus 1 Extra)

The New Year is finally here once again! Still crazy to look back and think, “Where did all the time go?” Looking forward, let’s make it our goal to improve your photography. On thing I’ve learned recently is the the humble heart wants to learn and willing to learn any from anyone.

2017 will be that year! Learn from your community, competition, newbies, conferences, online courses, ect. Every field of work has continuing education and photography is no different.

Improving Your Photography Skills

As a photographer, one of the aspects that can be hard to grasp is the idea of continual improvement. When you start hitting certain shot styles and using techniques that get mostly positive responses, it’s easy to stop improving. After all, why improve on something that people are already very appreciative of?

That’s not the right mind-set, though, and 2017 should see you try and change that. If you want to know how to try and improve as the year develops, here are some tips that you can use to try and improve annually.

Get Out There

First off – get out there, start taking more photographs (or more strategic photos). How many did you take in 2016? Double your output this year (or improve your efficiency). Even if you are just taking cool photos for your portfolio, or you are out honing your skills, it’s a necessity to keep improving. If you are earning well and are mostly busy with client work, then good, but don’t use that as an excuse to stop going out and learning new techniques.

You might be turning down work because it’s cheap, but does it give you a chance to experiment with something new? To challenge yourself? Then take it. Improvement comes from experimentation, and turning down jobs purely on cash is not going to help you improve as a photographer.

Find New Client Types

Many people in photography will find a niche and then stay in it like a cocoon. For example, wedding photos; many people who find they have the knack for this never leave that role. However, deviation is the art to improvement so you should be spending as much of this year as you can find new clients and working with new people who excite you.

One of the best ways to improve, too, is to get involved with another photographer and act as their assistant. Work alongside their own technique and learn from them as you go. It can get you a nice little earning but also, crucially, it allows you to build a more natural consensus about what you are capable of achieving.

Keep Editing

A major skill of a good photographer today is editing and improvement. More skills are being added to re-touching techniques all the time and you would do very well for yourself if you spend some time learning these skills.

If you have found a new technique that you like, go back to some old photo shoots from the past and use them on there. Did it improve them? Don’t always just look to touch up new shoots alone; try out, experiment and see where your improvement will lie.

Get better at editing as it’s a time consuming process, but one you do need to be skilled at. Get your times down when editing and you can spend more time doing what you really love.

Join a community

Finding a group of like-minded people that are devoted to the success of everyone rather and cutting out competition is a beautiful thing. Many photographers are scared of this tactic and think they will loose business but interestingly enough this saturated market still has room to grow! The fast growing group like this I currently know of is The Rising Tide Society. You need to check them out if you feel alone, just starting out, or wanting to grow!

Attend a Conference

There are several around and can provide ROI well beyond the cost of attendance. No recommendations on this post but a simple google search will provide a number of great options to consider.

2017 poses many challenges for photographers, but your desire to improve will be determined entirely by how willing you are to get out there and try to develop your skills. Do it, try it, and see where you go – it’s better than just sticking in the comfort zone for another year!

Are you a photographer?

If you are, please submit something today. We love seeing the work of aspiring photogs. Thanks for reading, please contact us if you have any questions about how you can get involved or let us know how we can help in any way.

JoN McClure

Started FEATUREDphotog with his wife for one reason: To help the aspiring photographer get their first feature! Plus, site has resources, articles, products, and even a podcast devoted to the aspiring photographer that is beginning and wants a long term pursuits of becoming a professional photographer. Subscribe today and contact us to see if we can help in any way.