THE 3 SIMPLE STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

In Town 30, we do quite a lot photography. Products, landscapes, portraits, weddings...you name it. Of course we had to start somewhere. Here we tell you the 3 unconventional steps that got us from:

Actual progress photos

Posts like this usually give you a few camera tricks. Today we will give you something different. It doesn't matter how new you are at photography, and it doesn't matter what gear you have. If you are able to follow these 3 basic steps, you will soar. That's a Town 30 guarantee.

STEP 1 - Shoot, shoot more.

This one is the fundamental step to photography, and most things in life. If you want to get good at something you have to get up and do it, A LOT.

We've all seen this. A friend goes out and buys a camera and declares: "I am picking up photography as a hobby!". But a new camera is a lot like a gym in January. It gets used a lot in the first month. Then, perhaps not so much. We will give you tips on this in another post.

STEP 2 - Join a photo hosting site, share, and get your EGO SMASHED

Instagram and Facebook are great for sharing photos with family and friends. Not great however, to get feedback on the quality of your photos. Worst case scenario: you only get 1 or 2 "likes." 

Photo hosting websites like flickr allow you to share full-resolution photos. It also allows you to join "rating and comment" groups. This is where you put a photo in the group's pool to get rated, ranked, and receive comments.

Here is where it gets real. Below are some comments we have received over the years:

Let's start with something encouraging:

Then something with technical advice, ok we can definitely learn from this:

And then... Oh:

 Perhaps the next one will be nicer... nope:

 

The comments actually get a lot tougher to swallow than these. We have posted some more after step 3 for your enjoyment, also, some valuable insights we've gained over the years.
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STEP 3 - Accept the feedback, learn from it, and use it to grow
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When we started sharing our photos, we only acknowledged the positive comments, telling us how great our photos were, and we ignored all the negative stuff. The funny thing is, though, that the more experienced we got, the more we realized that the good comments didn't help us become better photographers. It was the comments pointing out our tilted horizon, or the poor placement of our subject in front of a distracting background, that helped us think more critically about our photos. Comments like "nice" don't help us improve. 
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Put it on repeat

Practice doesn't always make perfect. It does however, improve consistency. So when you practice, practice right. Keep an open mind regarding feedback on your work. Because it doesn't matter how good a photographer you are, there is always room to evolve. 

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Here are more "encouraging" comments and insights for your pleasure:

This must be how it felt to be on Jimmy Kimmel's "Celebrities read mean tweets". Seriously, think about it. 

Take a second to think about your proudest creations. Imagine being judged, criticized and laughed at by people who don't know you, or care how hard you've worked to get to where you are. How does it feel? Can you stomach it? Let's keep it interesting, and go through some reactions you might have.  

You may be a bit confused - "3/10"? It can't be. I passed calculus but failed photography? After all this is your best photo yet. 

You may get mad - How dare this idiot tell you your photo is "awful"!? You just had a look at HIS photos and they are rubbish!

You may decide to reply and justify your shot- Because you are an educator, and surely the commenter needs to learn the mistakes of his ways. Perhaps he'll even change the score.

You may feel pretty bummed - A feeling that tends to come up when you are not where you want to be in life. Existential crisis may also follow.

So you couldn't believe your eyes. You got mad. You tried to get your point across. You felt upset and unaccomplished. You might have noticed that your reactions were actually from the 5 stages of grief:

The last stage, acceptance, can be very difficult to get to. And there is so much content in the subject that we will talk about it in another blog. We'll also give you a little insight into the making of Town 30 and why we started our venture with camera bags.

Until then, keep shooting.

Yours truly,

Team Town 30

TL;DR: Shoot, get feedback, digest... Repeat

 

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