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  • Writer's pictureBryce Joyce

Finding the Success in Every Shoot

Over the past few years I have found myself frequenting certain locations for shooting that are relatively close to home and typically have at least a couple good opportunities to get a few good pictures. Not every outing will yield a top five for your portfolio or a cover of a magazine, in fact probably more often then not you’ll return with a few pictures of things you seen a hundred times before and are not terribly excited about.

But…what if I told you that wasn’t exactly a bad thing.

See it’s rather easy for hobby photographers or amateurs that work all week and want to spend part of their weekend getting out and enjoying their favourite thing to do (photography) and put extra pressure on themselves to expect a great photo every time they head out.

You might think - “well, I only have one day a week to do this and if I don’t get the photo I was hoping for what’s the point?”

To this I say. The point is no one gets results every time they go out, the one big advantage that a full time professional has is more time in the field. Even the very best BBC, National Geographic or fill in the blank photographers - have all gone out at one point in time and waited and waited and waited for the shot they were hoping for and ended up with nothing.

The big difference is they kept going out and despite coming up empty they went out over and over again and that is how all the best photos are captured.

I know I’ve hiked for hours and hours through the forests and trails only to come up empty handed or with just a few random pictures of common birds or squirrels, but with every return trip I realized that repetition and observation were one of the keys to improving my own skill, if I wasn’t aways able to get a great shot of an elk or a deer in a meadow grazing with just the right light, what I could do was really think about composing a nice shot of that robin on the log, or the squirrel on the branch. By taking the time to appreciate the things around me I was able to work on making a good photo happen for me rather than searching one out.

Taking advantage of the time you get in the field is the key to improvement and finding enjoyment in photography as passion project or hobby. There is great photos to be made all around and the challenge is what makes getting a great shot worth it. So even when you feel like going out was a bust, enjoy a nice walk, some fresh air and simply adjust your expectation and observe more of the space around you, if the birds or wildlife aren’t around made you turn your focus to wild flowers or insects.

When it’s all said and done enjoyment should be the primary goal. Finding success in every outing is just a matter of redefining what that success is.

1 Comment

Valerie Smith
Valerie Smith
Jun 26, 2023

Well said.

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