The 3 Ingredients to Photography Success
Part 2: The Recipe
"If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done."
Oh hey again Team! Yesterday we spoke about Ingredient Number 1 on our quest for photography success. If you missed it, we got very punny about rising up, and you should definitely check it out here.
Today though, we're on to Part 2: The Recipe. Yesterday we left off understanding the difference between GOOD practice and BAD practice, and we realized that the key difference is when we LEARN as we practice. Yay! But today we're talking about the importance of learning and the 3 key things to look for as you embark on this journey.
PART 2: LEARNING (the recipe)
Learning. When you imagine this, what do you see? For me, I see classrooms, desks in rows, and TEXTBOOKS. UGH I HATE TEXTBOOKS. In my last semester of University (Finance major) I refused to buy the textbooks and barely passed as a result... oops... But you may have similar feelings or imagery about the word "learning".
See, the tough part here team, is that as adults we rarely have the time, patience, money, or (to be completely honest) energy to undertake learning like we used to. I don't know about you, but I don't get anywhere NEAR enough sleep at the moment to fathom the thought of sitting in a lecture theatre or classroom listening to a teacher drone on and on. I would win the award for who could fall asleep the fastest.
And this is the really sad part. We're older, wiser (hopefully), and busier, and while we have changed, our learning experiences haven't that much. Not really. I'm sure you've considered your learning options for photography, and I'm sure most of them are some variation of a classroom course at a camera store, a 16 week lecture series at a University, or a "Photography for Dummies" style book. You may have also considered overly-technical YouTube videos (why is it that every time you watch one, you seem to get different advice?), or a free download that tells you "just take a photo like this one" (filled with plenty of photos that the author has taken, but with no real information).
How do you think I learnt photography? With a little bit of all of this, 5 years of confusion, thousands of mediocre photos, and barely enough drive and motivation to persist and ultimately figure it out.
This is crazy, and it's no wonder we baulk at the idea of "learning" how to use our cameras. UGH - the tedium.
The biggest problem is that we KNOW we have to learn. We can't do this on our own! We absolutely have to gain the knowledge so that we can practice the skills we need to be exceptional!
Now here's the good news:
It doesn't have to be that way. And yes, this is the part where we toot our own horn (but I promise I'll make it very clear why). Here's what you need to learn properly:
1. A TEACHER
That sounds redundant.
I get it. All of the learning modes we talked about above have TEACHERS. Duh. But this is what I mean...
There is a WORLD OF DIFFERENCE between a good photographer and a good teacher. The skills that you learn in one are not necessarily transferrable to the other. Amazing photographers don't automatically make amazing teachers (and vice versa). In fact a lot of photographers make pretty terrible teachers (yes, you know what I mean...) and vice versa.
So when I say the first thing you need to be able to learn properly is a good TEACHER - I mean just that. You need someone who can TEACH you how to take good photos, not just someone who takes good photos themselves.
There is a meeting point in the middle, people who are amazing photographers AND have learnt to also be amazing teachers (and vice versa), but these people are far and few between.
Which is why you are spending most of your photography life in some form of mild (or severe) confusion. It's not you, it's your teacher.
SO - don't rest until you find someone who can TEACH you in a way that is easy to understand, is super well put together, and will help you discover the best version of YOU.
2. A FUN FIRST PHILOSOPHY
Adulting is no piece of cake. We spend most of our days dealing with things - work, kids, cleaning, cooking, shopping, traffic, etc. If you wrote out a list of the things you did today I bet less than 5% of them were either things you a) wanted to do or b) did exclusively for yourself. And that's ok! There is beauty in the reward of a job well done.
But when it comes to doing things that we love, why are we settling for things that aren't fun?
If you had the choice between learning photography on a set schedule in a classroom, or learning photography in an interactive, hands-on way when it was FUN for YOU, what would you choose? Now realize that the hands-on learning you do is more effective than the "sitting and listening" learning you do, and the decision is practically a no-brainer. Give me the fun, hands-on, effective experience any day thanks!
So why are you settling for anything less than fun first?
No, you don't learn more in a classroom (you learn less), no 300+ hours of video instruction is not better than 40+ (with the right teacher), and no, that book really is confusing (it's not just you).
3. THE RIGHT COMMUNITY
And just to whet your appetite, this is where we're leaving it, because to talk about Community, we have to talk about the 3rd ingredient - eggs (the binding agents!) - and that happens tomorrow! So stay tuned...
ARE YOU READY TO LEARN?
Our Photography In Focus Course ticks ALL of those boxes. Yep - it's lead by amazing teachers, our philosophy is ALWAYS fun first (frustration later or preferrably never), and when you read up on tomorrow, you'll discover how incredibly important our amazing community is too.
So what are you waiting for? There's never a perfect time to do something for yourself, you just end up delaying your passions until you've missed most of the best moments (you may never go on that trip again, your kids will only be young once, and that amazing photo you just missed? Yep, you'll miss more of them if you're not careful). So make today the day you say YES to yourself and register for our next cohort.
And finally, don't forget to check out our final ingredient tomorrow!