Motivated to become a better photographer or simply capture more interesting pictures? I’ve found that there are two things that motivate me to get better: being inspired by others’ work and working on projects that we can frame and hang, give away, or keep as keepsakes for the kids. (More to come on projects in a future post!) These five simple things have really helped keep me motivated and learning – every day!
- #1 Take a picture a day – Practice makes perfect and the sure fire way to get better is to continue to practice every day. That means keeping your camera out of its camera bag and onto the kitchen counter or kitchen table. Set a goal for yourself of taking a picture a day of anything that inspires you. Others do it all the time. It’s called Project 365. At the end of the year (which, by the way, you can start at any time) you can assemble all your pictures into a photo book or print out a calendar. There are lots of templates out there for these types of projects including Shutterfly. For inspiration on getting started check out Capture Your 365. Here’s a simple layout that I put together using my captured images.
- #2 Carry your camera with you at all times – You never know what is going to inspire you. Learn to become a better observer of moments, lighting, and scenes by having your camera with you. It may feel awkward at first carrying your camera with you to the mall or when picking up your kids from school. You can make this easier by getting a non-conspicuous camera bag (see What’s in My Camera Bag) or by getting a really cool camera strap. My favorite place to get these is on Etsy. The alternative is using your phone camera. These cameras have great resolution and the principles of composition still apply.
- #3 Join Flickr – Before there was Pinterest there was Flickr. Flickr is the original online photography community for sharing your pictures. Here you can post your pictures for sharing with friends and family (and yes, you can share them of Facebook too). It’s a great place to post your Project 365 (Project 52’s for those wanting to tackle a smaller project) pictures as well as get inspiration from others’ work. There are plenty of groups to join. Here are some of my favorites:
- #5 Join an online photography community for moms – Clickin Moms is the original. They have a terrific special 40% off deal going on through the end of the week so don’t miss out. I belong to Rock the Shot forum as well. Here’s what you get when you join these communities: lots of help on the technical stuff, tutorials, a place to post questions, photo challenges to inspire you to take more pictures, a place to get second opinions on your photos, and place to find other local moms to get together with.
I’m the first to tell you that there’s so much to learn when it comes to photography. It gets a whole lot easier and a lot more fulfilling. And yes, you will be able to get blur-free pictures without essential limbs chopped off. I’ll have more tips for you in an upcoming weeks. Let me know how these go for you!