5. Never stop learning.
The moment you think you’ve come far enough and become stagnant, you WILL be left behind. Make sure that no matter how busy you get, you always make time to stay ahead of the curve. Amazing advances are happening in our industry right now, and there are new people getting into it all the time. One advantage new photographers have is plenty of time to be looking at the latest and greatest. Why? Because they don’t have a big backlog of work built up.
Set aside time to always continue educating yourself. Put it on your to-do list and calendar. Once that time is on the calendar, don’t push it back because other things come up. Innovating may not seem important at the time, but it will seem really important if you don’t do it. You’ll come to realize that things have advanced so far so fast that you don’t even know where to begin and will feel like giving up before you even start. Don’t let this happen to you!
What are some ways you can keep learning today? Assess your strengths and weaknesses and determine the areas you’d like to focus on. Then, take a look around to see what avenues you can use to improve. Workshops, conventions, forums, webinars, and educational blogs are a great place to start. Give yourself an allotted time every week whether it be 30 minutes or a few hours. Some tools are free and some you pay for; but something that is always free is practice! So you’re not good at shooting in harsh lighting conditions – grab a friend and practice in the harshest light you can find. Find a technique you’d like to implement on an educational blog and try it out. Search out threads on forums where people are talking about topics that are of interest to you. Engage, take initiative, and make things happen! There are many ways to stretch yourself and learn at your own pace, with the time you have at hand. The main thing is this: Get out there and do it.
So—what are you waiting for?