As a guy who calls himself a photographer, one of the greatest gifts a photographer can get themselves is a perspective check. I’m constantly reading articles about how to improve my shot, balance light sources (ambient and otherwise), framing vs composing, etc. The two ways that I like to remind myself that I still suck have room for tons of improvement are
1) Looking at other photographers shots.
Which sound easy but can quickly become a game of “Oh, I’d love to shoot in that EXACT same style.” That game is the most wretched game known to people who suffer from OCD pay attention to detail. :D I don’t really play that game much but it doesn’t mean I won’t try to recreate shots that I see done by people much better than myself at this light capturing business. The other thing I like to do every so often to remind myself that I have plenty of room to grow is by
2) Looking at older pictures that I’ve taken before.
This is like the “better photographer’s picture” game but much more dangerous. There is an inherent conflict of interests when judging one’s own photos. Sometimes though the difference is so obvious that it’s fun to look back.
I’m going to post some pictures from the first wedding that I ever shot and the most recent. They are completely different and to this day, I apologize mentally to the first couple that I shot. I wish I could go back sometimes and shoot them again but I did shoot for free, they did know that I was reluctant, and I did learn a ton from the experience. I’ll try to keep the examples similar.
[2007 | Angela and Paul Mason] : [2010 | Tania and Josh Wagner]
So I’ve gotten a smidge better. lol. Looking at my pictures juxtaposed this way really reminds me that in my own mind I am my own worst critic. And I have a lot of room to grow still!! lol.
I can’t wait till next year when I’ll have more understanding and EVEN better shots.