Sunday, July 29, 2012

Photography Tips: If You Want To Be Successful in Photography, Be Like Madonna.

So, I right after I did my last post I got a comment from a friend of mine that said

 "Firstly, I think you make a most valid point about the importance of viewing the work of others, it's critical to improving your own skills and in turn developing your own unique style. I've only looked briefly at the Flickr Streams mentioned here, the quality stands out immediately but so too does the diversity in styles." 

First of all, Thanks Jason for the great comment. As Jason reaffirmed, and as I mentioned in the last post, it is a great way to learn and grow. His comment really got me thinking about how being on flickr and other photography sharing sites has helped me. Here's the thing, I am 39 years old, I shot my first wedding 25 years ago at the age of 14, I went to college and have a major in photography, I learned using film, and then about 7 years ago I got my first digital camera. Digital really does make things easier but I had to learn a lot of new stuff when I switched. If you want to grow to be a better photographer you have to constantly learn. It's that simple.  It is a life long process and should never stop.  
So, after thinking about the biggest reason that Flickr has helped me I came to this simple conclusion.  It has helped me be more like Madonna. Now, I never wore my underwear over my clothing because that is simply gross, and I don't appear nude in my photos, and I really can't sing that well. But what made Madonna so great? She constantly reinvented herself. It's the same with U2, and The Rolling Stones(I can't believe Keith Richards is still alive!) and other bands that are still popular 20 years after they started. 

Flickr has helped me "reinvent" Myself. 

You ask, "how do you mean?"  

There are photographers in my town, and probably every town in the world, who learned photography 10 or 15 years ago that shoot in a style that is 10 or 15 years old.  If you are a photographer that started shooting 10 or 15 years ago and are still shooting the same way you did when you started your days are numbered.  
When I look at wedding photos taken by me 20 years ago, I don't like what I see. I used to use on camera flash, and would pose the people in lines. That was the style back then. The photos were good then, but now photographic styles have evolved. I have reinvented my style. If I shot like I did 20 years ago I would not be able to make it  in the town where I live. 

If you are starting out in photography you should keep up on styles and trend. Use filckr for that.  If you are an old timer like me and you want to have relevant work, look at flickr and don't be afraid to try new things. 

So, in a nutshell, what I am saying is look at flickr and use it to learn and grow. Stay up on the latest ideas and  trends in photography. Read books, read this blog, read other blogs and keep on progressing as a photographer. Don't be afraid to try new things. When you fail, don't give up. Keep going at it until you have it mastered, and reinvent your photography ever year or so. If you do these things it will help you be successful as a photographer.  Be like Madonna!

For fun I will post a photo from a wedding that I took 7 years ago and one that I shot just last week.  
Hope you enjoy! Thanks so much for reading this blog and please follow us on Facebook!!

I would love to hear your comments on this post. Do you agree or disagree?

This one was taken 7 years ago!

Montana Wedding Photographer

This one was taken 7 days ago!  Can you see the change in styles? I can!

Missoula Wedding Photographer

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