“If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.”
— Jim Richardson
This quote has had a profound affect on me as a photographer. It’s fairly simple but most truisms are. I think part of why it resonates with me is because I get bored with the mundane and the humdrum. Some people thrive on it, they know what they’re doing and they know what they’re going to capture. I however don’t really work like that. I can’t visualise a place before I go there no matter how many blogs/instagrams/google image searches I look at.
This quote also makes an important point of getting out there and discovering new things. If you want to be challenged and therefore become a better photographer you need to embrace change, diversity and try new things. Part of that is investing. I don’t mean monetary investment but investing in things that will make you a better photographer. It could be new equipment but it very often is the small things in our lives that will have a direct impact on our photography. Learning the history of a place, or learning to read weather maps, or getting a drivers license, or even something as simple as learning to watch and wait prior to pushing the shutter. I guess in the wake of the death of Anthony Bourdain I should also mention that travel is probably the best investment in yourself and thus your photography you could do.
All these things (small and big) makes us better photographers. We should all have some self reflection and look at ways of improving ourselves that will ultimately benefit our photography.
One thing I need to work on is getting up early in the mornings. I hate it. I find waking up the compete antithesis to my every being. But if I want to get better photographs then it is something I need to work on.
I like to paraphrase Jim Richardson’s quote as:
If you want to take more beautiful photographs then stand in front of more beautiful things.
Because ultimately if you stand in front of boring things because you’re doing the boring and mundane, your photos will also be boring and mundane.
Girona Cathedral otherwise known as “The sept of Baelor” from GoT