Free tip Friday

After reading some of the responses from last week’s tip, I got to thinking…. Which is always dangerous.

So here is my tip for this week: keep it fun!

How many of us got into photography seriously after noticing a bit of innate talent in images that we took? You progress from a simple point and shoot to a more advanced point and shoot to an entry level dslr to a prosumer dslr and so on. You might take a class or two. You start having people interested in your work, and begin selling…..

And somewhere along the way it is not fun any more.

Your work becomes stale and not so great and then you get overly critical of your stuff.

The next thing you know, your camera is not your constant companion and you stop taking pictures unless you have to….

Eventually, your camera has more dust on it than anything else on your workbench….

Now…. I haven’t fallen that far down the hole, but I started down it last year. I found myself so worried about how many hits or comments I was getting that I just started putting less than good quality images out there. It was becoming work! The first time I went out to shoot images specifically for my fort book I was rather stressed out… And that session turned out like crap.

After those two experiences, I sat myself down and had a little come to Jesus talk!

I determined right then and there to keep it fun, to remember why I started all of this in the first place and low and behold the magic of being able to”see” came back and looking back over my stuff over the last six or nine months and I see a lot of improvement.

It has been proven that the more fun you have at whatever it is you are doing, the better you are going to do….

So… Is your photography in a rut? Work going nowhere??? Put the fun factor back into it and see what happens.


~ by Derrick Birdsall on April 6, 2012.

12 Responses to “Free tip Friday”

  1. You talking’ to me, Derrick? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You give good advice here. I HAVE fallen that far down the hole but workin’ my way back. I hope with the onset of warmer weather and the emergence of both flowers and critters, this girl will get her groove back. I also hope to do more food photography, combining my love of creating recipes with my (once) passion for photography. Stay tuned! Thanks for showing me there’s hope! ๐Ÿ˜„

    • I know! You were so excited after your 365 and then your posting just kinda dropped off a bit. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Glad to see you doing what you enjoy more – it shows in your work!

  2. you said it derrick….I am on the verge of getting over-critical and have somewhat reduced the times I take my camera with me…but eventually I realised that popularity does not determine the happiness I derive out of it… now I do just for the “fun” of it ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. While I do have great fun at times, I don’t think that is my motive and I don’t think that is what drives me. I do think it is important to get feedback on your work, but not from blog comments or facebook likes, etc. but from people that you trust. Getting a contract to do a book like you did is a much more sincere form of feedback than 1000 people clicking a like button. There is an ebb and flow to the creative process and you just have to not stress too much in the less productive times. However, I think most of the time, we aren’t critical enough of our work and cheat ourselves from reaching a higher level of expression.


    • Thank you for the professional perspective!! I think from what you’re saying you just have to know yourself and know what motivates you and why you are doing what you are doing.

      Would you say that by not being critical it’s another way of saying one is resting on his/her laurels???

  4. I think it is hard to separate your experience of being there from your photograph. We fill in the blanks but others can’t do that. They weren’t there to experience it first hand. Showing your work to people personally – watching how they look at the print, how they react to it – which ones light up their face and which ones they pass over is invaluable. There is no online equivalent. Doing that helps you to step away from your work and evaluate it more critically – why isn’t this moving others the way it moves me? It is an amazing thrill when they start to tell you about the photograph.

    (Just my opinion, of course).


  5. SO true, Mr. B!
    I had a photo instructor who once told me, ‘if you’re not having fun with / interested in what your shooting how do you expect anyone to be interested in your results?’…
    always thought that was such great advice…
    if only I could follow it!

  6. Wonderful advice, Derrick. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. A fabulous post with great comments and words to remember. Some days I couldn’t shoot a picture to save my life but then they are the days when I don’t have to either ie I am not having fun!

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