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Believe in your photography skills, but never stop improving


It’s important to believe in your photography skills, but to never stop improving. There are always new skills to learn and acquire. New mentors to learn from and be inspired by.

So while it is a good thing to feel confident in your abilities, there is always room for improvement and growth.

Confidence is key

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/es/@sincerelymedia?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Sincerely Media</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/thumbs-up?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

There is confidence and then there is overconfidence. There is nothing wrong with confidence, but thinking you know everything? That’s often a BIG mistake.

I have confidence in my abilities, sure, but I also look to expand on my techniques and my knowledge continually. I learn from watching, reading and attending classes. Only a mad man (or woman) thinks they know everything there is to know about their field or genre.

Sure, I know a lot, but I admit I don’t know everything. There is freedom in that core belief. Just because you don’t know something doesn’t mean you should have less confidence in what you do know.

Never stop learning

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@sickhews?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Wes Hicks</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/learning?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>
Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

There has never been a better time to learn anything. I mean the internet truly is a world-wide-web of knowledge of everything known to humanity. For good or for bad. But among the misinformation out there, there is a lot to learn on every subject imaginable.

Regarding photography, there are self-paced online classes, live webinars, YouTube and TikTok videos on every tip, trick and genre. Want to learn how to do something, just ask Google. Need to figure out a button, a technique, new software and gizmos? I can pretty much guarantee someone has a post or video on just how to do it … and that’s just the online stuff.

Find a mentor

Find a mentor you can learn from. The best way I know how to learn something new is to learn from someone who does it really well. Reach out to them, and see if they offer classes or workshops, perhaps they have a YouTube channel.

One-on-one mentorship can be enlightening. Perhaps join a photography group or club and be inspired and learn from various people. Many have guest speakers, workshop events and competitions. These can all be learning opportunities as well.

Be a mentor

In turn, become a mentor. I have found nothing has made me learn more than teaching others. Whether it is researching new products, new techniques or new software, in staying one step ahead of my students, I have learned so much. Offering live webinars, self-paced online classes, in-person workshops, as well as private one-on-ones — both in person and via Zoom … oh where would we be without Zoom? It gives me the ability to work with and mentor other photographers.

and offer to assist on a shoot.
Become a mentor yourself

There is something fulfilling about passing on to others the knowledge I have accrued. I adore seeing the excitement in their eyes when something just clicks. So rewarding.

Just remember to believe in your photography skills, but never stop improving, never stop learning and then in turn pass that on too.



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Rafael Jones

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