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Oxford School of Photography
insights into photography
The Photographer’s Quarter Life Crisis And How to Get Past It
November 14, 2014Posted by on
There may come a time in your life as a photographer when you suddenly find your own photographs distasteful. This is a time when you feel restless, frustrated, and dissatisfied with the images you’ve recently created. You then realize that it’s not a one- time ordeal and it’s already been awhile since you started experiencing this. It’s not that you don’t know how to create beautiful shots because you’ve done it before and quite often too. You’ve created images that surprised your friends and family. Ah, it even surprised you so much that at one point you even thought of turning pro. And maybe you did turn pro. But somehow, things don’t seem to fare well and it feels as if your creativity has plateaued, or worse, regressed. If there was a photographer’s quarter-life /midlife crisis, this would probably be it.
There are two ways to approach this dilemma. You can end your dream of being a world class photographer and sell your gear at a ridiculously low price or you can try to find ways to get out of this seemingly twilight zone you’ve gotten yourself into. The question though is how.
I would suggest you take a course with us, ask anyone who has taken our Intermediate course if it has jump started their photography
Before we answer how to get off this awkward feeling of always creating boring shots, we need to understand what is happening in the first place. We need to answer why you are experiencing it. Is it a skill deficiency? Perhaps, has your passion for photography started to dwindle? You may or may not yet be in this situation, but the possibility of experiencing it is there.
There may be several reasons why this happens. It can be caused by a drop in excitement level, lack of skill, the absence of new things to learn, or too much common shooting opportunities that leads to boredom.
Do you remember when you started doing photography? You were so excited about everything from understanding camera bodies, lenses, lighting equipment, and even enhancing your images for hours with Photoshop. Even reflectors, filters and slings were very interesting at that time. It’s a time when you suddenly see a big difference between your old pre-basic photography class shots and your i-feel-like-a-pro-after-basic-class photos. In fact, as you continue to learn more, you also see big positive changes in the way you create your images. The improvement is so huge that it keeps you excited. But the more you progress, the less improvement can be seen. Not because you’re learning less, but because you’re seeing less of the differences in your shots. The once steep learning curve is beginning to flatten out.