What I learned from my 30-day photography challenge
About a month ago, I picked up a 30-day photography challenge hoping to improve my composition skills, find a style to follow and learn how to better handle the camera using special techniques. I was lucky enough to land my first photo-session, but more on that on a different post.
If you're interested in the process and what went behind each photo I snapped, you can read all about it here. In this post, I want to share the learning curve and the findings from my 30-day journey. Spoiler alert: It wasn't as easy as I initially thought.
It's true. At times it was challenging to come up with the right composition in time to post it to social media. Did I have to post it? No. However, using a deadline gave me the drive and determination to carry on with the challenge.
The challenge took me through numerous different styles of photography, from portraits, to landscape, to street, to product and night photography. I learned the basics for composing an interesting frame and how to leverage the capabilities and extend the limitations of my camera to tell a story.
Each day, I had to accomplish a different task and creatively interpret my subject in a compelling composition. The diversity of photographic styles, tought me to see the world from a different perspective, introduced me to the many techniques employed by professional photographers and how to effectively leverage them at a given situation.
I also discovered the style of photography I lean towards the most. Street photography and candid portraits are at the top of my list for recreational purposes, and product photography for commercial work. Don't get me wrong. I admire and wish I could capture a perfect landscape picture, or use artificial light tyo create a unique atmosphere, but it's street photography that makes me uniquely express my vision and the stories I have in my head. It's the look and expression on people's faces that grabs my attention and makes me want to hear their stories.
Another key learning was I became familiar with numerous camera techniques. I'm always wowed by the creative flair talented photographers add to their compositions, and it's something I too wanted to incorporate in my shots. You know what I'm talking about. Things like blurring out the background or making it look like it's moving while your subject is dead-still and crisp as a potato chip.
The diversity of techniques and photographic styles in this challenge, helped me practise and develop those techniques and I'm now a lot more confident and comfortable around my gear.
Finally, if I had to keep one thing from this challenge is to never give up trying. To get the shot, I had to spend significant time trying to capture the same subject over and over again using different compositions. This helped me develop my skills and learn through the process. The pre-challenge me would’ve given up after a couple of tries thinking it's too difficult. The post-challenge me will keep persisting over and over again.
Before I go, I want to leave you with one question, and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Have you tried a 30-day photo challenge before? And if so, what did you learn?
Looking forward to our chat!