Above: Image by Gina Milicia
Here is one thing every photographer needs to update before they can take their work to the next level.
There have been so many incredible advances in photography in the last 5-10 years. Every day I hear about a new camera model, faster lenses, lighting kit, and post production software improvement. It’s difficult to know when to update or switch systems.
Upgrading your gear is both a huge financial and emotional drain. It’s hard work, and there are no guarantees that stepping up to new equipment will improve your photography.
What if I told you there was only one thing you need to update today that is guaranteed to improve your photography? A new mirrorless camera system will undoubtedly make your life easier as a photographer because you won’t need to lug all that extra weight of DSLR around but it won’t make you a better photographer.
A new faster lens, with better optics, will make your images sharper but not necessarily better.
The same can be said for lighting systems and software.
There is only one upgrade that I guarantee will make you a better photographer. The one thing you need to change is your attitude.
“Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” –Henry Ford
Having the WRONG mindset will undermine more photo opportunities than upgrading to the best lens and camera combo will ever give you.
How many times have you seen a fantastic photo opportunity and then talked yourself out of it because you believed the dribble your inner voice is saying to you?
How many times have you passed on an opportunity because you thought you weren’t ready?
How many times has a fear of failure OR ridicule stopped you from trying something new?
“Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.” –Suzy Kassem
The great thing about changing your mindset is that you can do it right now. You can decide at this moment that you want to shoot in manual mode, use off camera flash or start a photography business. The only thing stopping you is you.
There are a million different ways you can fail at achieving your goals and a million different ways you can succeed, but it’s pointless focusing on negative thoughts like:
“What if I fail?”
“What will people think?”
“I’m not very good at this.”
“This is too hard.”
This is the dribble your mind tells you to keep you small. To keep you safe. To prevent you from succeeding. It’s a hangover from your caveman brain that needed to manage risk, so you didn’t leave the cave and get eaten by a dinosaur.
So next time a negative thought comes up, ask yourself these questions:
“Am I in danger of being eaten by a dinosaur if I do this?”
“Will shooting in manual mode, asking a stranger to photograph them or attempting off-camera flash jeopardize the safety of my family?”
If the answer is no, then take the leap. Say “yes” to the opportunity. Share your work, take the class, ask the question.
Switch your thinking, instead of “what if I fail?” ask yourself “what if I succeed?”
Stop worrying about what everyone else will think because they don’t think about you. Everybody else is too busy worrying about themselves.
Any task is overwhelming if you believe it must be achieved all at once. Breaking a job into manageable chunks is far more sustainable than an all or nothing approach. It’s like trying to run a marathon at a full sprint. Eventually, you’ll find yourself puking and crying in the fetal position.
Changing your mindset and attitude is the best upgrade you’ll ever make.
Success and failure begin in your mind.