Tip 5: Never Stop Learning
I'll never feel that I know enough about photography. All the different gear that pops up on the market. New techniques. There's always something to learn. We also need to learn from other photographers, by hearing about their vision and looking at their photographs.
In today's world of technology, there's really no excuse to be stagnant. The Internet offers a plethora of free educational material about photography, and of course books and online training courses can help you to further your knowledge. I like using all of these resources in my own photography, especially when it's something that I enjoy doing (see Figure 5). Another great way to push yourself is to get involved in a local group, meeting and getting to know other photographers in your area. You'll be surprised at how much you can learn just by being around other like-minded people!
Figure 5 I really love photographing food, and I've been learning and studying as much as I can to get better at styling the food properly. While it's not necessarily a photographic technique, it results in better-looking photos. It's an artistic challenge to make the food look as delicious as possible.
One thing to keep in mind that it takes initiative to get ahead. Experiment. Practice. Don't let yourself be too comfortable with what you're doing. Push yourself to try something different, since you never know when learning about a new technique will be helpful (or necessary). Sometimes learning is a way to adapt; many of us who originally used film eventually started into the world of digital photography, and that's a pretty steep learning curve! The point is that it never stopsthe more you learn, the more you know, and the more you know, the more control you have over your images. Don't be your own barrier to what you want to create. We all have vision, and our goal should be to share that vision with the world.
There are many ways to create great images, and dozens of "rules" to follow, but don't let those rules get in your way. Sometimes you just have to go with your instincts and not think too hard about what you're doing. In time, many of the tips in this article, along with other ideas you'll encounter elsewhere, will become second nature. We all have room to grow. Along the way, we'll all make mistakes, but sometimes that's the best way to learn.