For many of us, the most difficult part of photography isn’t learning the technical details of how to take a great shot, it’s finding the confidence in our own ability. Confidence, or the lack of it, is a more common dilemma in photography than you might realise.
From our own experiences as photographers, we’ve put together a list of 11 ways we can all build confidence in our photography.
1. Positive feedback
Positive feedback from peers on your work can have a lot of impact on your perception of yourself as a photographer and can go a long way to improving confidence in your trade.
Of course, we can’t always rely on people to give us positive feedback, but even if the feedback you receive is negative it’s important to remember that it’s not always a bad thing.
Take constructive criticism on board and learn from it – this will also help to build your confidence.
2. Read tutorials
It’s all too easy to become complacent and assume that we know enough in order to take good shots, but we’d be foolish to think this is the case.
The learning experience is ongoing and there’s always more you can learn to help you capture fantastic images.
Read as many tutorials as you can, and then put what you have learned from this into practice.
3. Test your knowledge
So you’ve read tutorials and your camera’s manual, but unless you have a photographic memory it’s unlikely you’ll instantly be able to remember everything you’ve learned straight away.
You need to apply what you’ve learned to your photography, testing yourself on what you have learned.
Being sure that you have a good working knowledge of what goes into taking a picture can have a big impact on your confidence.
4. Compare old work with new
As we take pictures it’s inevitable that our style and technique will develop over time.
It’s always a good idea to take a moment every once in a while to look back through the shots you took at the start of your interest in photography and see how much you have developed since.
Are your pictures heading in the direction you want them to take? Be confident that they are and press on.
5. Photograph strangers
Many people avoid photographing strangers out of shyness, but you might be surprised how many people are willing to have their picture taken.
Most photographers have to photograph people they don’t know on a daily basis, whether it’s models for commercial shoots, family portraits, or wedding shots.
For these, directing and working with people is the key to their success, and it’s a very valuable skill to learn.
Approaching strangers on the street to take their picture can help you to develop these interpersonal skills, increasing your confidence in shooting people.
6. Photograph your friends
Of course it can be difficult to direct strangers you’ve just met out on the street into poses that will make your image pop.
If you want to practice directing your subjects into just the right poses, taking time over lighting and composition, it’s a good idea to find a few willing friends.
This can be invaluable in improving your photography techniques and can help you learn just what it is you’re looking to achieve from a shoot, giving you the confidence you need when working on a commissioned shoot.