I'll be the first to admit that cultivating a photography style you can be proud of can be a forever work in progress - every now and again you can feel it when there's been a boost in the way you do things plus an added level of sophistication or higher thinking in what you produce. Sometimes you can attribute this to certain actions or additions to your regime, here are a few things I've done to consistently attempt to improve my work. What have been your game changing moments for your work (regardless of whether it's for passions, personal or business or a mixture of all 3)?
I N V E S T I N G I N M Y
E Q U I P M E N T
I am a firm believer that you don't need the latest and greatest technology to produce at least some or the beginning of the work you want to create, especially if you don't have the funds to spare. Despite this, adding to your arsenal with new equipment over time once you reach the next stage (and once you're more confident in your skills) can really benefit the quality of your imagery but also you can put more value behind your work. For example one of the smallest items in my kit is the Nikon WMU wireless adapter, it's become an essential way of transferring images across different technologies. Despite it's tiny size it was approximately £40, which may not break the bank for some but when things are tight anyway in the money department, splurging on the teeniest of items may not be top of your priorities. Since this little contraption came into my life it has helped my instagram and social media no end but it did take a lot of consideration before it came home with me. Whether it be software, props, equipment or accessories taking the time invest in what you have and need, can take your work to the next level.
U P D A T I N G M Y I N S P I R A T I O N
Over time your taste in what artists and styles will naturally develop, meaning it can often influence your current aesthetic. There will be images that you like but aren't in your scope for creation just yet and that's no bad thing as inspiration is meant to be aspirational but also you're allowed to appreciate different types of art that aren't you're medium / type but they can still inform your thinking. Whilst it's good to occasionally look back to not only see (and celebrate) your journey thus far but you can also find new love in old loves as you can appreciate certain nuances that you may have missed before. Keeping your idea stimulus' current can help your process and productivity from going stale which enables you to find fresh links plus add more clarity in the concepts behind an image.
C O N T I N U I N G M Y R E S E A R C H
It's well established that I've been to both college and university to further my photographic education (with varying results) but what happens when you finish your course? Or what if education isn't on the cards? Or if you find your passion later in life? Education doesn't automatically equate to an institution but you can keep informed of the latest goings on in regards to your favourite topic through other means. The learning can be a self-directed study at your own pace and can be as in-depth as you like. Studying at college or university means you follow an already dictated curriculum which (admittedly) can be really beneficial however you may find the subjects covered or how they're covered don't quite fit with what you want. Doing your own exploration cuts out the middle man and allows you to keep going without a deadline. I prefer to keep involved by reading articles, books, blogs which can mix several genres and their brilliant photography or following influential creators, watching films and TV. Staying up to date and doing your own research can be amazing to not only break up your day but can make your work more focused plus it's good to have something that is all yours.