Growing As An Artist

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This is a guest post by Larry Lourcey.  Hope you enjoy!

Photography used to work kind of like this…. there were the pros, who had the high-end, mega cameras and the amateurs who had point and shoots.  The line between great artists and everyday shooters was pretty easy to spot.  Things have changed now with digital.  Technology has allowed even a part-time amateur to have a camera that isn’t much different than what the pros use.

So how do you set yourself apart from the pack?  Quite simply, you do it by growing as an artist.

Now there are two components to this process – input and output.  I wrote a blog article a while back about the first part.  Basically, you have to feed your brain with creative nutrition if you want it to work for you.

The second part is practice.  You won’t get better at photography by thinking up great concepts, you have to actually try to create them.  Are you going to fail on some of this projects?  Absolutely.  Is your vision always going to translate to the printed image?  Nope.  Will it help you to grow as an artist?  You bet!   So where do you start?

I’m a big fan of self-assignments.  What this means is that you come up with an idea and give yourself a deadline to get it done… then actually DO it.  I’ll even give you a few ideas to get you started:

Do a series of self portraits.  I’ve done this one and it is much tougher than it sounds.  The good news is, you always have access to the model!

Grab your favorite CD and create an image to illustrate each song on the album.  It can illustrate the meaning of the song or maybe just a literal portrayal of the title.  Lots of wiggle room here!

Do a series of 12 portraits, each representing a month of  the year.

Photograph landmarks of your hometown – just do it in a creative way.

There are literally thousands of ideas you can come up with.  The concept isn’t nearly as important as the execution.  Pick one and go for it.  You’ll be surprised what you come up with!

*****
Larry Lourcey is a professional portrait artist, located in Plano, Texas.  In addition to his Photography Blog, he also has a website dedicated to photography education .  You can follow him on Twitter at @larryphoto

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  • http://www.harryhilders-fotografie.com Harry Hilders

    Nice article. Insightful.

  • http://www.keithcarey.com/ActorHeadshots actor headshots

    Wow! I will try your tips because I really want to be a good professional photographer. Also, photography is really my passion..

  • http://robfranklin83.wordpress.com Rob Franklin

    Hi, couldn’t agree more with this. I decided, once I had purchased a DSLR, to do a photo a day – not necessarily to chronicle my life, but to force me to think about what to capture and when, and how for that matter.

    While I am not always inspired, and some efforts have been way off the mark, you can learn by doing!

    My results are here http://robfranklin83.wordpress.com

    and there are many others like it, you just have to get going with it!

    • http://www.camerashy.info Ingrid Owens

      Just checked out your photoblog Rob and it’s really excellent. I’ve wanted to do the 365 day challenge for a while but right now haven’t been able to give it the time. (right now each photo would involve diapers!) Good for you for just doing it! Practice makes perfect :)

  • http://www.kathiesphotos.com/blog/ Kathie M Thomas

    For the second year in a row I’ve been doing Project 365. I’m doing it with a group of photographers on Flickr. We share our ‘pic of the day’ with each other and critique. I post most of mine on my blog as well. I do know I’m a much better photographer today than I was January 2010.

  • http://www.youtube.com/dattrax7 Adam W.

    Photography is the best, for me it is a combination of art, skills and passion. It really makes me happy to see my creations through photos. Your tips are really inspiring, and believe me, I’ve been there :)

  • http://www.exults.com/ Patricia

    Larry,
    I have to say I aggree with the idea that the more art you are exposed to, the more your creativity juices get flowing.
    Thank you,
    Patricia

  • http://aloha-photographer.com Christy Harper

    Thanks for this post. With all the reg. everyday work happening. It is great to remember creativity.

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