It’s safe to say that you’re on this website because you love photography. It’s a great way to express ourselves, be creative, and show off.
When you buy a new camera, photography seems like the most fun thing to do with your time, but unfortunately this feeling goes away over time.
It’s easy to become disheartened when you compare yourself to other photographers, or you simply don’t see your photos improving, but I for one believe that it should always be fun.
Here are some techniques I’ve found which made photography fun again for me.
Shoot on Film
Right now there’s a few hundred photos on my computer, waiting to be processed, and I have no intention of doing them any time soon. It’s just not that fun.
On the flipside, I have just taken two rolls of film to my camera lab, and I’m waiting to pick them up. I can’t wait for them to be ready.
Shooting on film is not only easy, but it’s cheap in comparison to getting set up with digital photography, and it comes with a good selection of advantages.
You’re limited to the number of photos you can take, so you tend to focus on only taking the best photos that you see- this produces better results.
When you have taken a photo, you don’t think about it until after you get back from the lab. There’s no photos to view on the screen, and nothing to process.
No post processing means that you’re spending your time taking photos (the part you enjoy the most), and not sat infront of a computer screen.
It’s a real joy to pick up your photos and see how they’ve come out. The colour and feel of film photography can produce some great results, and I’m always excited when I first look through a fresh batch of photos, back from the lab.
So shooting on film is a great idea, but not practical for a lot of people, so lets have a look at what you can do with your digital SLR.
Take on a Photography Project
Photography projects are a good way to learn and enjoy photography, but there’s one aspect which makes them really great.
They focus your attention, and they inspire you.
Attention and inspiration is a problem every photographer faces, which is why we can find photography boring. When you have a project to guide you into taking specific photos, you can produce great results without really having to worry about attention or inspitation.
I’ve listed 10 different project here. They range from taking a photo every day for a year, to a self portrait project, or even a 30 day photography project.
2 year ago, I attempted a couple photography projects, and as I took more and more photos, I found that they were getting better and better. The best way to learn, is to practice, and what better way than with a fun, creative, photography project?
For example, A 30 day photography project is a great way to learn. Every day (for a month), you have a new task to accomplish. Testing your skills, and driving inspiration.
Make Photography Secondary
Just bring your camera along, that’s all.
Say you’re going out for a walk in the country, then just sling it over your shoulder when you leave the house. It doesn’t take much.
Don’t let it be the focus of your walk, forcing yourself to take photos. Just have it with you incase you see anything you want to take a photo of. That way, there’s no stress of pressure involved, and you can relax.
You’ll find that you only take a handful of photos, but these photos will be of a lot better standard than the hundreds of photos you may have taken instead.
I nearly always carry a camera on me (not including my phone), because it allows me to think like a photographer at all times and spot potential in everything. It helps to train my eyes, and there’s no pressure to actually use it.
Try it, you might enjoy it.
Buy a New Lens / Accessory
I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit of a gear junkie.
There’s nothing like unboxing a new lens and trying it out for the first time. I challenge any one of you to buy a new lens, and then not want to go and take photos with it. It’s fun!
Even if it’s just a simple 50mm f/1.8, you will see a much wider range of posibilites than you had with your kit lens. You shoot at a different focal length, with a wider aperture, and better optics. It can really help to keep yourself entertained.
Go out and buy a new lens, or an accessory, or a toy, or a flash, or even just some filters. You’ll see a whole different side of photography that you hadn’t seen before.
Try a Different Photography Niche
I love portrait and landscape photography, but it took me a while to realise this.
At first, I thought I would enjoy macro photography.
Then I thought perhaps I’d enjoy gig photography.
And I even tried my hand at food photography.
Although I enjoyed what I did, nothing was really grabbing my attention like landscape and portait photography.
It was only then that I really started to have fun. It would produce a little smirk when I captured a happy, relaxed candid photo of a friend. I would marvel at the earth’s natural beauty when taking photos of the landscapes.
This is what I was ultimately drawn to with my photography, so if you’re not enjoying yourself, maybe it’s time to leave the confines of your back garden behind, and venture out to experiment with some more interesting photography niches.
Print and Share your Photos
Sometimes not enjoying photography comes down to a lack of confidence.
You’re not alone, we’ve ALL been there. You compare your photos to others, or you simply look at your photos when you’re in a bad mood, and you just don’t think they’re any good.
Chances are you’re wrong though.
If you’re actually trying to improve your photography, and you’re taking the time to go out and take photos, then you’re already ahead of about 90% of people who own a camera.
It’s sometimes hard to believe in yourself, but a great way to find a boost in confidence is to print and share your photos with others. This will produce a sense of pride over photos, and help you to find the confidnce to take more photos, and have more fun.
The first time I printed my portfolio into a book, that’s what happened to me. I left the book on my coffee table, and when friends came round they flicked through it and made me feel good about it.
I understand that this may be the reason a lot of you don’t enjoy photography- you just can’t quite get your head around it.
Learning photography is a pretty big hurdle when it comes to taking great photos. There’s a lot to learn, and chances are that like me, you’re self taught.
When you can focus your attention towards learning how to take better photos, and understanding you camera, then you will see dividends from your efforts.
Your photography will start to improve, you will gain more recognition for your work, and you will become a lot happier with yourself.
And that’s a lot more fun!
That’s why I’ve created this website, as a resource for budding photographers around the world.
Check out these two directories to get yourself started.