Yesterday I had a coffee with an amateur photographer. They had seen my work and was heavily interested in knowing what ticks in my head, what I see and what I focus in on when taking my photographs.
As we progressed through talking over the basics, we meandered here and there before it came time to showcase our work.
One question she asked stood out to me.
"Where are the photos you're not proud of?"
We had been discussing greatly what makes a photograph great, what makes one not so great, but as we're going through all of my works... there wasn't a single one that I wasn't proud of.
Why is that? Well to start with, you need to cull down your photographs. You can either focus in on delivering a bunch of really average photographs OR you can focus in on delivering the absolutely best quality you can with fewer photographs.
This mindset affects both my post processing and my actual shooting. When I'm at a photoshoot, I rarely end up taking more than 50-100 photos.
When I'm culling through all my photographs, I really ask myself what photographs do I want to put out there? Which are the ones I'm absolutely proud to put my name to and shout out to the world that I took that photograph?
When you start really focusing in on quality over quantity, your photography and your business improves. You're not presenting the client 1,000 photos, of which roughly 900 never deserve to be looked at again.
You're not TAKING 1,000 photos. By keying in on delivering quality, you become more mentally involved in the whole process, raising the standards of yourself and your photos every day you continue to shoot.
Do I still take bad photographs? Of course. It's only human to do so. But I'm still proud of those photos. They may never see the public's eye, but they're still key photos in which I realized those photographs do not meet the standards and levels of quality I hold myself to.
Those photos make me strive to do better and make sure that every photo I deliver meets my standard. By focusing in on quality and delivering the best product ever, it also forces me to press my standards. Raise the bar, challenge myself.
How do you approach your photography? Do you accept it as "meh" good enough?
Or do you actively try and learn through every photo you take?
I know what I do. But have you asked yourself what you're currently doing? Have you asked what you and your photography DESERVE for you to do?