Photography tips – Steps to becoming a happy photographer

Photography tips – Steps to becoming a happy photographer


– What is up, guys. Welcome to my YouTube channel, where we talk all things photography. I’m up, right and breezy, this morning, We’re down by Tara Hill,
and I’m gonna shoot some cityscapes, to see how we get on. Hold on, this isn’t what
my YouTube channel’s about. I’ve been trying to force
the issue, this morning. It’s a kind of proven model. YouTuber, photographer,
B-roll, this and that’s that, but I don’t enjoy shooting cityscapes. I’m just kinda forcing myself to do something that I don’t enjoy,
because I see others do it. So on that note, let’s get into the video. (classy downtempo music) So this morning, I went
out to try and shoot some cityscapes, and
that’s normally what I do. I do what YouTubers who do that, and who have big
audiences, and I am trying to grow my YouTube channel, so I felt this pressure to go out
and try and recreate that. I live in London, there’s
some great buildings, the sun hadn’t risen, it
was a perfect opportunity. But the more I walked around, the more I felt this pressure on my shoulders, and it really reminded me of this pressure that I used to feel when I first took up photography, when I was in college, and they gave me a camera, and I had to go out and take
pictures around the street. I felt so self-conscious, this was almost before mobile phones had cameras on them, this was 10 years ago, so
no one was really using ’em, but I felt so self-conscious
with that camera. I had in my head this idea that, wherever I’m pointing the camera to, someone’s gonna stand
behind me and look at it, and just think, that’s a shit
photo, why are you doing that? That’s kind of rubbish, you’re
not a good photographer, so you’re wasting your time
(multiple voices talking). Now, this is when I just
picked up a camera in college. And actually, on that note, I didn’t pick up a camera again, ’til sort of midway through uni, which was three years later. So I started to feel
this pressure on myself, this morning, to do something, and I’ve not felt that in awhile. I shoot stuff out on
location all the time, whether that’s people
running through the streets, or any sort of fitness
thing, or in central London, or in cities, or outside, and
I do enjoy taking landscapes. But landscapes, not cityscapes. And yeah, I just started
to feel this real pressure on myself, to the point where I just put my camera away, and thought,
I’m not gonna do this. But what it did do was inspire me to make this video,
because there’s one thing that I want to cover a bit more of, on my video, and that’s the mindset of photography, as well as giving tips and tricks on how to use your camera, and how you use Photoshop,
and Capture One. I want this channel to bring
value in a different way. There’s plenty of other
channels, tutorial channels, out there, but I think, especially if you wanna be self-employed, especially if you wanna do photography, or anything art-based, freelance, as your own business, there’s a lot of pressures and stuff
that come with that, and I can only speak to
what I’ve experienced. But hopefully, it can
kinda reassure people who are going through the same thing, that they’re not alone, and
it can maybe warn people just beginning their adventure as a self-employed photographer, it can maybe kind of warn you
of the potential pitfalls, and stuff, that you might come across. Really, that’s something
that’s kind of dogged me for the whole time, since I’ve lived in London, really, the
last sort of six years. I’ve always felt pressure from myself, to the point, upon viewing others, that I need to be shooting certain things. And authenticity is what
people can relate to, so in the end, I put my camera away, and that kinda brings
me onto my first point, about caring about what
other people think. I’m not shooting photographs
for the sake of others. Really, you have to find something that is genuinely you, and then
it will become much easier. So something I’ve found,
in the last two years, is, I’m really honed in on,
is sport, and athletes, and the athletic lifestyles,
and storytelling. So whether that’s
getting across the effort that someone’s putting in, in a workout, or the process that it
takes to make a product. So really, my first point to becoming a happier photographer
would be, assess yourself. You can do that in a few, various ways. One of them would be
what I just said, there, make sure you’re shooting
stuff that you enjoy, that you are about, that
you’re enthusiastic about. Shoot stuff that you enjoy doing, and not stuff that you think
you should be shooting. And that’s really easy
to get caught up in that. I’ve got caught up in
that plenty times, myself. Yeah, you can get nice photographs, but is your heart really in it? That’s really what you
have to be questioning yourself about, and if
it’s not, don’t do it, and don’t worry about the interest, that may or may not be there,
in your chosen subject. If you really like shooting plants, or any ass random thing, then don’t worry. Just shoot it, because
ultimately, the happiness is your number one goal, and that’s
what you have to focus on. Just shoot in what you enjoy. Wow, that was a ramble, jeez. In assessing yourself, take real stock of what you’re consuming. I can’t remember what YouTube channel it was, or what I was
watching the other day, or who it was I was listening to, but they said, when
you’re scrolling through your Instagram, if an
account isn’t filling you with warmth, or
bringing something valuable to your life, then click Unfollow. And I am so guilty of this. I follow so many different photographers, and originally, I thought I
was getting into operation, the people, either in
the same field as me, or more successful than me, or, I would scroll through Instagram, and all you see is a
congregation, an aggregation, of everyone else’s work. So you scroll through Instagram, and it gives you this false impression that everyone is super busy, every day, shooting stuff, and if you’re freelance, and you’re not busy every day, it’s really easy to get dragged
down by that, being like, oh, hey, I’m not working enough. I’m not doing enough, look at
all these people doing work. Whereas actually, that
guy who just posted that, it’s the first thing
he’s posted in a month. He’s going through this, or she’s going through the same struggles as you, and be brutal, and don’t
worry about offending people, but really kind of have a bit
of a cull, on your Instagram, and really only follow
things that, follow accounts that are bringing you value, and making you feel good about yourself. So that would be my point,
just follow accounts that make you feel good,
and not the accounts that you maybe feel that you have to. I’m only speaking from experience. So for example, shooting sport, and being around athletes, makes me happy, but like I mentioned earlier, I felt like I needed to shoot fashion, because I was surrounded
by people in fashion when I was working at studios,
and for other photographers. So I felt like, ah, this
is the way it needs to go. I know I really love doing this stuff, but everyone else kinda says I should go this way, so I’ll go that way. So try and realize what it
is that makes you happy, what it is that makes you happy shooting, and don’t worry about
other people’s opinions, or whether you feel there’s
a market there, or not. There is always a market for something. Your happiness is your own responsibility, and once you take ownership of that, you start putting into place the actions which will bring about your own happiness, and others around you will
start to feel the benefits. So I guess what I’m trying
to say is, regardless of what you may or may not think you should or should not be shooting, if it makes you happy, just do it. And that might be simple advice, it might be a bit cliche,
but it’s the best thing that I’ve been trying to get through to my head in the last 12 to 24 months. This has been a really
difficult video for me to make. I hope it’s kinda got my point across, or they’re not points,
they’re just thoughts on things that I’ve encountered recently, chains of thoughts, ways of thinking, and the kinda mechanisms that I’ve tried to put in place, that
help you kinda navigate your way through life, as a photographer, or a freelancer, because it’s not easy. It’s difficult, especially without wanting to sound too cliche, but especially with the ever-apparent pressures of the Internet, whether
that’s social media, or otherwise, everyone else’s success and failures are kind
of put on a platform. And it’s very difficult to watch everyone else’s success,
even successes, even though everyone goes through the same struggles. And it also kind of makes
you wanna hide away, ’cause you don’t want
people to see your failures. But hopefully, with some of the things that I’ve explained, and gone through, and talked about, here,
in this video, you can at least find way of shooting
things that make you happy. And ultimately, if you’re shooting happy, you’re gonna shoot more,
and you’ve got more chance of successes, unlike my speech today. It’s been horrendous. That was a bit of a ramble, today. I hope it brought some value to you guys. I’m trying to implement more videos of this style into my YouTube. Ultimately, I want my
YouTube to be a reflection of what I think, and
go through, in my life, so whether that’s, say,
behind-the-scenes videos, photography tips or tricks, or methods of thinking, and
practices that you can put in place, to ultimately
help you be a better, but more importantly,
happier, photographer. Thanks for watching, guys, and
I’ll see you in the next one. (introspective music)

5 thoughts on “Photography tips – Steps to becoming a happy photographer”

  1. Fantastic video Rich. Loved your chat about following instagram accounts that bring you value! Thanks for sharing your insights. Its really appreciated!

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