Do you know the one thing that differentiates great photographers from bad photographers?
It’s not the knowledge of manual mode.
It’s not a better camera.
It’s not a better lens.
It’s not knowing all the rules of composition.
It’s not inborn talent.
Yes, all the above things help, but here’s the ONLY secret there is to being a great photographer:
Great photographers THINK before they shoot.
Yes, believe it or not, that’s it!
Great photographers are planners, not just shooters.
They like to plan a shot before they take one. They think a lot about the composition, settings, colors, angle, perspective, type of lighting, etc.
In most cases, they have even thought about the post-processing that the shot will have to eventually go through even before they have taken the shot.
Poor quality photographers are the opposite of this. They are lazy.
They may take more number of shots, but most of those shots are not planned. Hence, it may be practice but it’s not a type of practice that is effective.
For instance, a lazy photographer will go to the zoo with a 18-55mm kit lens and take 2000 shots and feel very proud of having clicked those many shots. But what’s the point? Most of the shots will be terrible because with a 18-55 lens, you cannot get close to any animal worth shooting.
A better photographer will carefully plan out the trip. He/she will try their best to rent or buy a telephoto lens which will allow them to get closer to the animals. Such a photographer will read tons of articles on how to use such a lens BEFORE heading to the zoo.
Then even if such a photographer only manages to get 20 shots, those 20 shots will be FAR MORE effective and beneficial to the photographer than the 2000 taken by the lazy photographer.
A lazy photographer will try to justify the 2000 shots by pointing to their “enthusiasm” for photography. But such enthusiasm is fake.
Real enthusiasm means you are willing to dig deep into photography, learn the different conepts, get your foundations solid because you prefer quality over quantity, even if it takes more effort.
A great photographer not only knows how to shoot, he/she also knows WHEN NOT TO SHOOT.
So ask yourself?
Do you plan your shots or just fire-away?
Next, time you hold your camera, do it with a purpose. I’ll round off this post with a quote from one of the most famous photographers of all time – Ansel Adams:
You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
About the Author
Hi there, I'm Kush Sharma, the founder of Creative Pad Media, an organization dedicated to simplifying photography and videography education.
We have over 40 online courses that cover various genres in photography & videography, catering to both beginners as well as professionals. These courses are available via Udemy.com. Our courses have been downloaded in over 170 countries.
I hope to see you inside a course very soon!