There are many challenges new photographers will face along their journey. This too will be the case for your more seasoned photographers as facing challenges is simply just a part of life.
Where is the fun with no challenges right? Challenges are opportunities for growth and development. This too can help build resilience, increase self-awareness and create a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
Photography is both a challenging and rewarding pursuit that requires creativity, technical skill; which can be learnt, a lot of practice and most importantly, patience. In saying this, even the most experienced photographers can struggle with certain aspects of the craft.
Common challenges new photographers will face and ways to overcome them:
- Gear acquisition syndrome (GAS): It's easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest photography gear, but it's important to remember that the gear doesn't make the photographer. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that buying a new camera or lens will instantly make your photos better, but this is not the case. It's important to understand that the most important tool a photographer has is their own vision, creativity and putting their skills to the test. Instead of constantly upgrading your gear, try focusing on learning how to use the gear you already have to its full potential.
- Lack of confidence: Many photographers struggle with a lack of confidence in their abilities and their photographs. This can be especially true for those who are just starting out or who are still learning. Trust me when I say, we have all been there. To build confidence, try to put yourself in situations where you are forced to think on your feet and make quick decisions. Also, try to surround yourself with other photographers whose work you admire, this can help in getting constructive feedback and inspiration. #ThisIsWhyWildEye
- Composition: One of the simplest but one of the most important aspects of photography is composition, and it can be difficult to master. Reason being is because people tent to over think the image and get too caught up in the excitement of the moment. A good way to improve your composition skills is to study the work of seasoned photographers and try to understand why their compositions are so effective. Additionally, learning from others in the field, practicing the rule of thirds and learning about different types of balance and patterns can help with the composition.
- Finding your style: Many photographers have trouble finding their own unique style. They may feel that their work is too similar to others, or that they don't have a consistent look to their images. This too is okay. I will use myself as an example… over the years my style has change time and time again and I do not ever see that stopping. Some find a fixed style, some don’t. But to find your own style, try experimenting with different techniques and subjects. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things. Take inspiration from other photographers, but don't try to copy them. Instead, use their work as a starting point and put your own spin on it.
- Post-Processing: This goes hand in and with “your style” because digital photography has made post-processing more accessible than ever. As great as this is, it can be overwhelming to learn all the different editing software and techniques and in turn can make a great image even better and/or destroy it. To overcome this, try focusing on learning one editing program at a time, such as Lightroom or Photoshop, and then practice using it by editing a few of your own photos. Additionally, you can find online tutorials on our YouTube channel or even enjoy online courses with us that can help guide you through the process.
- Constantly comparing your work to others: With the ease of sharing photos online, it's easy to constantly compare your work to others. Do not get me wrong, it's important to be aware of what others are doing, learn from them and find inspiration in their work. What I am trying to say is that by constantly comparing your work to others can be demotivating. To overcome this, try to focus on your own journey and progress, rather than comparing yourself to others. Remember that everyone has their own unique vision/style and it's important to develop your own voice as a photographer.
- Finding Inspiration: Many photographers can go through periods where they feel uninspired and unable to come up with new ideas for photos. The beauty about wildlife photography is that you will have to take what mother nature offers you. Now to overcome this when not on safari, try exploring new places closer to home, experimenting with different camera settings, or shooting a different genre. You can also seek out inspiration from other photographers, whether by browsing online galleries or by taking a workshop. Vitaly important to remember; inspiration does not mean compare!
- Fear of failure: Like any other field, this a common and natural feeling which can manifest in different ways, such as hesitating to take certain photos or second-guessing oneself after taking them. I always say to guests, if you do not take the shot, you will never know. Now to overcome this fear, it can be helpful to remind yourself that failure is a natural part of the learning process and to focus on the joy of creating and experimenting with photography. Setting small, achievable goals and giving oneself permission to make mistakes can also help. Additionally, surrounding yourself with a supportive community of other photographers can provide encouragement and inspiration. Again… #ThisIsWhyWildEye
- Criticism: Lastly, one of the most challenging aspects of photography can be dealing with criticism, both of your own work and that of others. Remember to take any criticism constructively, look at it as an opportunity to grow and improve. Criticism can also help you understand the different perspectives and what the viewer is looking for.
Challenges New Photographers Will Face From The Guides
What I have learnt over the years is that progress is not always linear. Embrace the challenges and the uncertainty in all the possible forms. Believe in yourself and your abilities, and never stop striving for growth and improvement. Always remember that the greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.
It's so important to remember that photography is a lifelong learning process, and even the most experienced photographers are constantly learning and improving. Throughout it all, you will fail, but don't give up, keep pushing. Time, patience, and practice will see you through. By identifying the challenges you face and working to overcome them, you can take your photography to the next level.
Overall, the key to overcoming these challenges is to stay focused, stay motivated, continue learning and never give up which will ultimately lead to you growing as a photographer.
Hope this blog helped, inspired and motivated you.