All of the world’s best photographers have a couple of significant traits in common, and if you start analysing them, you’ll quickly realize that those specific qualities were right there all along.
The “secrets” behind being a successful photographer were right under your nose this whole time, you just didn’t stop “to smell the roses” and to realize what’s truly important in becoming great at what you do. In our case, we’re going to talk about what it takes to rank amongst the world’s best photographers.
1. Creativity, Imagination and an Eye for Detail are present in every top photographer
If you look at some of the most appreciated photos from all the important international competitions, you’ll easily understand that nothing was coincidental in the image. Everything was created with an eye for detail, and creativity and imagination always play a huge factor in this equation.
The best photographers stand out from the crowd through their work, because they’re photographers even when they’re not taking photos. Does this make sense? Don’t worry, we’ll explain.
A photographer always looks at the world, at his surroundings through a fictional lens. He always tries to imagine what scenarios he can create with whatever his environment offers.
He thinks in photos, frames, lighting, composition, storytelling and emotion, just like a poet thinks in words, and a painter thinks in colour. A photographer is always a photographer and that’s what makes him good at his job.
2. Laziness is not in their vocabulary
We all have days when we feel like we can conquer the world and days when we don’t even feel like getting out of bed. Well, when you’re a successful photographer, there’s no such thing as a day when you don’t feel like taking photos because you’re not in the mood.
YOU make the mood. That’s what separates a photographer that’s willing to give it his best for a project, for a special moment that must be captured at a specific time and date, from one that works only when he feels like it. You need to give it 100% every time, all the time, because practice makes perfect and you’ll be able to train yourself to take amazing shots even if you feel like lying in bed all day long.
Anybody can be great when they feel like it and if they have the necessary training behind. But it’s only the best photographers that are on their A-game even when the last thing they wanted to do is sit through freezing raining and capture that perfect raindrop snap.
3. The best photographers join online photographer communities – and they make a difference!
Who ever said there’s strength in numbers couldn’t have been more right about it! No matter the branch, the industry, or the domain, communities help you grow and achieve your maximum potential.
This is especially important when it comes to such a creative and artistic field such as photography, where if you join a community you can only grow. You gain experience, knowledge, tips & tricks and you get to stay up to date with the industry’s latest trends.
Photography is a very fast evolving business and if you want to know what’s hot and what’s not, you should definitely communicate with other photographers on as many platforms as possible.
We recommend joining RovenImages, given the fact that it’s a fresh community of creative photographers and one of the fastest growing in the field of photography. You can create a free account right here, and start uploading your most spectacular photos for everybody to admire.
As a contributor you can easily share your work and get global exposure, and in addition to it all, you’ll have your own personal mini website ready. Each contributor gets a free RovenImages subdomain with his name on it, which he can share as a portfolio to his or her clients. It’s fast, it’s efficient and it’s free! Get connected with other fellow photographers and exchange ideas about your work, the industry and other things that trigger your interest.
4. They share experiences, build friendships & partnerships and surround themselves with other very talented photographers
There’s an old saying that goes a little something like this: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, it’s time for you to leave”. This is why you shouldn’t surround yourself only with people you have nothing to learn from.
Start sharing your experiences with other photographers. Go on photography sessions with other photographers, or organize one yourself. Build a friendship with the people you enjoy working with and they may later be turned into fruitful partnerships for everybody.
You need to surround yourself with other talented photographers because that will make you step up your game. Talented photographers can bring out what’s best in you, so don’t shy away from sticking around people that know more about photography and the business than you do.
5. Learn to accept a good critic and productive feedback
Not all your pictures will be perfect. But you know this already. However, there will be times when people will criticize even what you consider to be your best work. That shouldn’t discourage you. On the contrary, that should make you want to improve yourself.
Learn to accept the critics, to ask for feedback and to build from there. Take whatever is good from your work and try to merge it with whatever you here from specialized peers. They are not criticizing your work (especially if you know them) because they’re envious, they just want to help you to achieve your full potential. This is the mindset you should work with. Accept feedback, go back to the drawing board, come back even better!
6. Help out other young photographers who are just starting out
There comes a time when you should start giving back some of the knowledge you have acquired throughout years of experience. This is a good service to any industry, because it leads to progress.
A young mind assimilates the experience of a wiser photographer and adds his fresh new insights. This is how new currents are born. This is how fashion changes. This is how the world works and this is how we take things to the next level.
Don’t shy away from sharing your wisdom and offer advice whenever somebody asks your input on a picture, on a technique, or on any other matter where you feel like you have something useful to say. Sharing is caring!
7. Last, but not least – People skills
All of the industry’s best photographers have incredible people skills. Not all good photographers were born with them, but all of the best ones realized that people skills are needed to succeed in this domain.
You will be working with a large variety of characters and personalities, and it’s up to you – the photographer – to bring out the best in them. You need to capture their best angles, make them feel comfortable in every shooting.
And it’s not just about the subject. It’s also about learning how to work with clients, partners, media agencies and the list can go on and on. Start working on your people skills because it’s an essential quality that all the best photographers have in common.
Trust us, a little goes a long way!