3 things that made me grow as a photographer

Do you know the moment when you recognize you are not growing anymore? And I don’t mean the moment when I realized when I was 17 i will never reach 1,70m I mean that moment when you realize you are not getting better at something. You are stuck. Maybe I am the only one knowing this feeling but just in case you (as a photographer) ever felt that way, here are my three things that helped me grow further as a photographer.

1. Start with why

Well you might have heard this sentence before and I don’t take credit for it. I learned about „Start with Why“ from the book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action of Simon Sinek and the principle of „Starting a business based on Why“ from the photographers Justin & Mary Marantz. So now that we made the credibility clear let me tell you what this changed for me.

Think about why you do something and money is never a good reason. If you start asking yourself the question „Why am I doing this“ in advance to every step you do in your business you will act differently and you will create a business from your heart, from your core belief and a business that will be authentically reflect you as a person. Let me give you an example: When I pose my couples I think about if a couple would move or behave like that in the real world too. Would this picture happen somewhere without me? I don’t want to pose them opposed to their natural behavior. When you start thinking about your decisions in your business and ask why you do something and your answer will be: for the money or because somebody else does it that way than you might want to change your mindset and change how you approach things. You can only build a unique business based on your beliefs that reflects you when you start from YOUR why instead of someone else’s why.

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2. Don’t be afraid to interfere

Well the first point on this list has already been quite tough and deep hasn’t it? So here a more practical tip. Don’t be afraid to interfere. Specially as a photographer but I think we can also use this for other business too: when you want something to become really, really good than interfere with the planning process of your client. Give them tips and your opinion about how to change things to make it as perfect as possible. Take a wedding couple for example: Help them during the wedding planning process with the definition of their timetable. I learned that starting to interfere with the planning process did not only allow me to get the best time and light for my portraits their trust in me as their wedding photographers also grew. Believe me they will gladly take your expert’s opinion. jennifer hejna portfolio portraits_0021.


3. Don’t be afraid to take the guidance

I remember starting my business really well and I remember how hard it was for me to take guidance and speak in front of people. How should I guide other people in a portraits session, couple session or in a session with a big group (like family formals on weddings). I learned that those people in front of my camera EXPECT me to guide them and the more I started guiding even with big big groups on a wedding day the more people listend to me and the better my images became. Dare to speak in front of many people and dare to guide people if it is in front of your camera or in general it will make you grow.

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What did make you grow as a photographer or in your business?