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6 Steps to Becoming a More Confident Photographer

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Photographer Tips

confident photographer Your quest to become a successful, respected professional photographer will likely have both highs and lows, as with any pursuit in life. If you’re brand new to the field, there will inevitably be a learning curve and some “growing pains” for even the most talented photographers. However, there are some things you can do to make the road to building your confidence as a photographer easier and more enjoyable. Use these six key steps to become a skilled and confident photographer more rapidly:

1. Educate Yourself

One of the pillars of certainty and confidence as a photographer is a solid education. Whether you get a bachelor’s degree, an associates degree, take some classes, apprentice to another photographer, or opt for self-study, learning the most important aspects of photography is essential. You’ll want to become adept at using your equipment, of course, but you should also invest time in learning the more right-brained aspects of photography, such as composition, backdrop selection, lighting effects, and conveying emotion.

confident photographer

2. Don’t Skimp on Preparation

Being prepared is another key to having confidence as a professional photographer. Your education and hours of practice definitely play into being prepared, but so do things like having the proper equipment (filters, flash, lenses, reflectors, etc.) organized and at your fingertips as you work. Create a kit that you can carry on location or keep in the studio so that you’ll have the peace of mind that anything you might need will be available. You should also take steps to prepare for each specific subject or client; what are their needs and expectations? Do your homework before each shoot so that you’ll be prepared to make the most of the opportunity.

3. Start with Low Pressure Scenarios

Start slow and work your way gradually to photo shoots that require more responsibility. A newbie photographer probably shouldn’t start out photographing weddings or large family portraits. Start out with low pressure shoots for your own family and friends, and work your way up from there. Photographing supportive people you already know is a great way to build your skills and confidence.

confident photographer

4. Hone Your Interpersonal Skills

Unless you’re going to spend the majority of your time photographing nature or inanimate objects, the ability to mesh well with people will be another key to succeeding as a photographer. From paid clients to impromptu subjects out in the field, your ability to create rapport and a good atmosphere is foundational to great shots. Be aware that your photography subject(s) will likely be more nervous than you are and focus on putting them at ease. Have fun with props, talk to your subjects in a friendly, genuine but professional manner, and remember that everyone loves to hear sincere compliments.

5. Be Prolific

There’s no shortcut to experience, so you should be practicing as much as possible. For most photographers, their passion and sheer love of the craft will propel them to do that anyway. In the age of digital media where it’s so easy to delete the shots that don’t work out, you should feel free to experiment and learn through trial and error. It was much more labor-intensive and expensive to be prolific in the era of film cameras, and today’s technological advances should be used to your advantage.

6. Be Open to Constructive Feedback

Lastly, be open to feedback from your subjects as well as friends, family members and respected experts. Keep improving and refining based upon the feedback you receive. Remember, there is no such thing as failure, only feedback — especially when you are learning. This early phase when you are testing the waters and learning your craft in low pressure situations is the ideal time to receive feedback. From your technique to your people skills to your final results, be open to critiques that can make you a better photographer.

Photography begins with a love of the medium and is fueled by a passion for getting better and better at what you do. Resolve to draw strength from your successes and learn from your mistakes, and use these six steps for becoming a more confident and professional photographer.

What other tips do you use to build your confidence in photography? Share with us below!

– Backdrop Express Photography Team

Looking for more tips to improve your photography? Check out our blog: Improve Your Portraits with 15 Easy Tips!

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