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Dear friends, thinking about this new year, let us focus on a new year of photographic growth. How does one grow as a photographer? Some ideas:

1. Identifying our photo triggers

I’ve noticed that when it comes to photography, there are certain things which trigger my impulse to photograph.

For example, people, hand gestures, textures, shafts of light, shapes and forms and geometry.

And I’ve discovered that one of the best ways that I can progress my photography is to better identify this photo triggers, and obey them.

For example, sometimes we have a certain trigger to photograph, yet we censor ourselves, because the fear that we’ve already shot a similar photo before, or the fear that it may be a cliché.

But truth be told, cliché is not a big deal. I think the notion of a cliché is just this pretentious French notion of trying to put down other artists.

In other words, allow yourself to shoot clichés, and maybe it is a good idea to shoot more clichés. Even Daido Moriyama once said, to not shoot a cliché is a cliché in itself.

2. Improved nutrition

I believe in the practical philosophy regarding human physiology. In other words, how does one grow muscle mass? Simple: increased physical exertion, which causes your body to secrete growth hormones, and then being able to eat more meat and highly dense nutrition in order to augment your muscle mass.

When it comes to photography, perhaps we can take a similar concept to practice. In order to become a greater photographer, we need to focus on our nutrition. Both practical and philosophical.

For example, when to photographic motivational material, to only consume the finest photos of history. And also, in terms of our practical health, to become more strict with our diet, and our food and fluid intake.

A very simple via Negativa health advice is this: quit carbs, quit sugars, quit sweeteners, and quit the notion of three meals a day. Towards a more Paleo and ketogenic approach, intermittent fasting with one massive meal a day. Fewer intoxicants, like alcohol and weed.

3. Stronger photographic fitness

For us photographers, what is the most important muscle in our body? Our legs. I have a simple idea that in order to grow as a photographer, you must grow your leg muscles. Things that I have been doing: striving to walk at least 30,000 steps a day, and doing heavy leg exercises with my 105 pound kettle bell.

If you have the ability, go to the gym and focus on doing very heavy powerlifting style workouts for your legs. Sumo deadlifts, and squat. One rep max attempts, once a week.

Simple experiment in thought: if you grow your leg muscles, want that motivate you to move and walk more, which will result in you shooting more? And the more you shoot, the more likely you’re to practice your photography, and improve your photography.

4. The philosophy of aesthetics

Something I’ve been thinking a lot about is aesthetics. The philosophy of aesthetics means what you consider beautiful and not beautiful.

As photographers, we are artists who drive to make beautiful photographs. But everyone’s definition of beautiful is different, especially in photography. For your goal is to cultivate your own mistakes, and to determine what you consider beautiful.

5. Stronger and more simple?

Upon thinking a lot about the notion of what it means to make “better“ photos, I think better photos are simpler and stronger. This means, the compositions are more simple, yet elicit a stronger emotional or aesthetic response.

For example, more extreme black-and-white contrast, and using the small thumbnail test to know whether your photos are good or not as small compositions.

6. Improve your photos

Think much on how to improve your photos and photography. Focus on your own self growth and development as a photographer.

Allow yourself to cross-pollinate widely in your photography, allow yourself to cross-genres of photography, to seek inspiration and motivation everywhere, and just treat it like a kaizen approach:

Strive to improve your photography 3% daily.



HAPTIC creative tools to empower you to grow in your photography:

  1. Street photography starter kit
  2. Masters volume 1 digital free // print
  3. Photo journal print // digital edition
  4. HOW TO SEE: Visual Guide to Composition, Color, & Editing in Photography
  5. Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Street Photography

Discover more in HAPTIC SHOP >

Creative thoughts to get you going

  1. Why Review Your Photos?
  2. Self motivation
  3. How to Make Better Black and White Photos
  4. Growing or Slowly Dying?
  5. Accumulation, Subtraction
  6. Anti Static

More on blog >

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