The world of photography can have a lot of naysayers. Everyone has his or her own opinion on how to do something.  “We cannot teach people anything. We can only help them discover it within themselves.” –Galileo

1. Shoot

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” This quote can relate to all aspects of life but we’re here to talk about photography. It’s so easy to find excuses not to bring your camera somewhere. Every time you don’t have your camera, every time you don’t push that shutter release, you are missing out on what could have been. Shoot and capture!

Bottom of Falls
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2. Focus

John Maxwell wrote a famous book on the fifteen laws of growth in personal life, professional life, and spiritual life. The only way to get exponential growth is to “narrow your focus on a few priorities with frequent accountability.” In photography the word focus can mean many things. Regardless of what your focus is, it is important to hold yourself accountable. Just like the old adage “if you’re going to be there be all there”. In the digital world, it’s very easy to rapid fire. Try now to focus on one shot at a time. I learned to do this through shooting film where every shot costs a dime. Before the next shot you take, really take a look. Take a deep breath and feel it.

cornfield
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3. Positive Thinking

Roadblocks are everywhere in an artists’ life. We weren’t given directions and there’s usually no ladder to climb. We must all pave our own path. Mistakes must be made to become successful. It’s the attitude you have when you make a mistake that’s vital. I shot film for the first time when I was 18. I made one of the worst technical mistakes with one of my photographs. It was spotlighted and laughed at in my college classroom I didn’t let it get me down. Now, 4 years later (and some reworking) it’s been seen and purchased at multiple art shows. (See below). Embrace your mistakes. When you find yourself at a standstill, ask yourself so what, now what? It’s imperative to keep a positive attitude and continue to push forward. This pertains to both success and failure. A photographer even when succeeding must ask the question so what, now what?

trapeze
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4. Sponge-able

Do you desire to be right or do you desire to be good? Those who desire to be right will always fall. Those who desire to be good are able to get back up after the hit. Its important to not be afraid to ask questions or ask for help in order to do something better. Act as a sponge and absorb as much information and advice as you can. Don’t be afraid of being open to new ways of thinking. As a result, inspiration will start flowing. Thought does not put limits on where inspiration might run nor does it funnel ideas down a single stream. The brain flows in rivers, tributaries, streams, and puddles.

fromabove
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5. Being Prepared

Just like day follows night, success in photography follows preparation. Sure bringing all your equipment is a way of being prepared but it’s just as important being mentally prepared. When you are prepared you are confident. When you are confident, fear is erased.  I was never the best shooter, I was never the most technically skilled in Photoshop and I was never the most verbal when presenting my work but I was always the most prepared.

Grace Mcdermott
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Grace Mcdermott

Author

Originally from West Chester PA, Grace travels the world for the best shot. She grew up on numerous film sets including Warner Bros. Studio and always had a drive for anything creative and out of the norm. Grace moved out to Los Angeles when she was eighteen to study photography at Art Center College of Design. Currently she is being shown at the Co-Lab Gallery in Los Angeles, which is now her third exhibition.

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