Experts share their tips for growing as a photographer

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Professional photographers need to grow to keep up with the competition, as well as to keep up their interest in photography.

Amateurs, too, need to grow. If they don't, they might get into a rut -- taking the same kinds of pictures wherever they go. And when using a digital-imaging program, they might use the same techniques over and over.

Here are some views by professionals about growing as a photographer. I think you'll find their insights helpful.

Harry Benson. "To grow as a photographer, you just have to go out and take as many pictures as possible and as often as possible. It is great if a local newspaper is footing the bill, so I always suggest young photographers get a job on a local paper for the experience of day to day shooting."

Barbara Bordnick. "Keep growing as a human being. Be open to the new technology and don't treat it as anything but a new tool. As in most things, when one is open to new possibilities, the universe offers us many surprises."

John Paul Caponigro. "Try to make the visual verbal. Write and speak about your work so that you can understand it better. Writing about your pictures helps bring subconscious ideas to your conscious mind. With the insight you gain in writing, you'll be able to see what's unique about your vision and, over time, how that grows."

Jill Enfield. "Have confidence in yourself and your vision. Do what you truly love every moment you can. Make time for it. Live with your art by putting it up on your walls so that you can look at it often and think about it all the time."

Robert Farber. "Don't limit your visual stimulation only to photography. Let all the visual art forms be your inspiration."

David Hume Kennerly. "The best way to grow as a photographer is to shoot pictures. My whole career has been built on what I can do to improve my own work, and I'd like to think, even after 35 years as a professional photographer, that I learn something new all of the time."

Arthur Mossis. "To grow as a nature photographer, look at as much good photography as is humanly possible. As you walk about in the field, note the things that catch your eye and then try to figure how best to capture that excitement on film."

Art Wolf. "I believe that it's important to get an understanding of art. Whether or not you think you are an artist, that kind of formal training is very helpful when composing an image."

Try reading self-help books, such as "Real Magic" by Dr. Wayne Dyer. You'll see that as you grow as a person, you'll grow as a photographer.

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