I always get a mix of inquiries from different photographers. There are those who are about to start doing photography, some are just thinking of doing it and there are those already into it. The questions range from too easy up to complicated ones. With all the different level of photographers I meet, I can’t even define how many levels there is.
From what I see, there’s no finish line in photography. The art will always evolve and challenged by many creatives. Just like in the art of music, no additional notes are actually created but using the same notes and combining it with the other variables of music, it becomes endless.
The only limit is you. How far you want to go is up to you. How far are you willing to challenge yourself and how much more failures can you can take is really dependent on you. The learning is spread along those lines and the only way you can take it is for you to experience it. No shortcuts.
There was a time that I have to train myself to see the details and the elements in the shot. If you miss it and the shoot is already done, you have no other options but to do better next time. Hopefully it’s not a commissioned project that you will have to face the repercussion of a reshoot.
That’s the normal learning process in photography. It’s not enough that you do it a lot, you also need to correct yourself every time. It is not enough that you love what you do. There are sacrifices that has to be made in the real world. If photography is easy enough then everybody can do it.
You can hang out with your photography buddies and together you can learn but there must be a time that you need to find yourself and break out on your own. Time to face the real world and expose yourself to a broader audience and criticism. Putting yourself in a bigger picture and finding out if you will shine.
There’s a certain danger when learning photography as a hobby. The pressure to deliver a client’s expectation is a major driver for you to do your best. There’s also competition that you have to race with, and so the entire learning process is expedited compared to learning photography as a hobby.
Although there are those photographers I personally know that even if they are plain passionate about photography and has no plans of doing it professionally, their level of dedication to their craft is just exceptional. Their drive is their passion and an it becomes an outlet of their creative genius.
Keep on shooting everyone!