A few years ago I sold my camera. It was messing with my training as I was more focused in getting a better angle than a better workout. I didn’t know then that I loved shooting. It was just something as natural as drinking water. I missed it so much that I couldn’t handle it anymore. At the first chance I got I bought a brand new camera, a handy Canon 70D. I was living in Russia for a year and the only regret of that time is that I didn’t shoot enough of it. I always brought my camera with me but I was too lazy/shy to take it out and shoot. So here’s some advice I learned along the way to become a better photographer and filmmaker in regards of attitude.
Don’t be shy
One of my first problems with photography was that I’m actually a pretty shy guy. I don’t really feel comfortable talking to people I don’t know, imagine shooting them. It was only when I overcame my shyness that I found it not only liberates me to do more but also gets my subjects more comfortable and at ease. That’s why many street photographer talk to their subjects before shooting and most take time to get to know them better before even pushing their shutter button. Don’t be shy, start the conversation, it will be the start of something cool, I promise you that.
The best shots are unique. And to be unique you have to do something different. Tell the story of a different angle, use props, don’t stop imagining something better. And do that. Always try to overcome you best work yet. Don’t shoot the same way everyone else does, or you’ll become everyone else. Don’t be afraid to risk it. It’s only when you decided to be you and follow your style that people take notice. Create your touch. Your clients want and are willing to pay more for that.
Don’t stand still. Photography and filmmaking are a light and perspective game. I rarely use a tripod. I love to move around and explore the subjects perspective. Don’t be afraid of making a fool of yourself, as you don’t have any more shame. Jump, get high, get low, move around. Don’t be afraid of using the space around. The best perspective is a unique one, chase it.
Sometimes you should wait, patiently. Sunset and sundown take their time but they are totally worth it. Timing is important. Wait for something interesting to happen, but don’t wait too long. Just don’t be pressured into pushing that shutter button.
Quality vs. Quantity
Quantity doesn’t mean quality. One good exercise is to think as your digital camera is a film camera – you’ll have to reveal every single photo afterwords. Think of the process. Now, take every photo as something precious. Plan ahead, take your time, let it be the best you can do yet.
Don’t be afraid to go after that shot. Wake up in the middle of the night to go shooting. Don’t be afraid of the rain. Don’t be afraid of failing. We all take shitty photos. Don’t wait for a better day, a better camera, a better subject. Grab what you have and use it. Take it and own it. Become better, improve and let it be apart of your experience. The one it counts is only the one you took.