The one-shot wonder

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One wall I’ve come up against in my photography is consistently producing good shots. Being an amateur, I’m not under any financial pressure to produce; I don’t have clients asking for their work, I just have myself. If I got out and shoot for a couple of hours and end up with nothing good, it’s no big deal. I can just delete the pictures and go at it again another day. And if I do end up with a good shot, it’s likely to be a one-shot wonder, a lucky moment that I probably couldn’t replicate if I wanted to.

So how do I avoid that? How do I produce more than just one good photo? How do I prove to myself that I’m more than just a lucky guy with a half-way decent camera? Lately I’ve been thinking more and more about projects, about producing something more than just an Instagram post. With a project in mind I’m forced to be more proactive, to search out photos rather than let them come to me. Creativity isn’t something that will just naturally come to me like some kind of mythological muse, I have to go out and make it happen.

This past week on Instagram I’ve posted six photos of Christmas lights in my city. The photos are nothing spectacular but they are the result of planning and producing. I thought about what I wanted to do, sought out some of the best locations, and created the shots. I think this is the best way for me to grow as a photographer, by creating internal pressure to produce more than one lucky good shot.