Table of Contents
This is a summary of my YouTube Video, you can watch the whole piece linked at the bottom of the blog post.
I recently came across a blog post called “The Day You Became a Better Writer.” by Scott Adams, and It’s pretty good, it teaches you the importance of surprise, headlines and the importance of being brief and direct. But what really makes me think, is the title: The day you became a better writer.
So it makes me wonder, If you were to write an article or blog post and call it, the day I became a better photographer or filmmaker or artist, how would you approach this?
Would you write about the tech specs of a camera or the craft itself? or would you write about the actual day you decided to go ahead with your hobby or passion or craft?
The reasons why the title of that blog post is so powerful are:
- It really makes you think and do some self-exploration regarding your own circumstances. This is always helpful.
- It sounds like history. Like it's a fact. It sounds like you made it, you ARE a great photographer, filmmaker, and this post is how you got there.
Very powerful title indeed, let's talk about it.
The Elements That Help Your Creative Journey
Certain elements will propel you forward and help you arrive at the day you became a better artist, however, these elements on their own will not make it happen.
1. The Motivation Element:
What inspires you? What moves you? What artists or what type of art compels you to be better? Nobody can teach you about this, you have to navigate that road on your own.
It can be difficult, but it's the soul of your craft, and it needs to be present in order to achieve your goals. I've made videos about this, linked in the description down below.
2. The Technical Elements:
This is key to getting the results that you want. Sooner or later you'll be forced to understand and control the technical aspects of your craft. Exposure, composition, colour, focus, aspect ratios, etc.
And although this will significantly improve your results and your overall direction of the craft, It will not magically make you a great photographer. Have you learned and mastered the technical aspects of your craft? congratulations, there are hundreds of thousands of people out there that also have mastered the technical aspects, and they are probably better than us at it.
Learning & Teaching
The best way to learn is to teach. I've learned quite a bit since I started my YouTube channel, a lot of reading and writing.
Doing research, reading the books that I've covered in previous videos like the Motivation Myth, Atomic Habits, Make Time, The Paradox Of Choice, etc.
One of the things that Naval Ravikant mentions in his book & podcast is that Using your real name on the internet creates accountability.
"Embrace accountability and take business risks under your own name. Society will reward you with responsibility, equity, and leverage." -- Naval Ravikant
And that forces people that put themselves out there like me, to be mindful about the type of videos that I make and the foundation of the data and the knowledge that I share. I can't just spout nonsense and non-truths in my videos, I have to educate myself before I can try to teach and help others.
But even after all of that, my YouTube channel didn't make me feel like "I made it" Like I was a better photographer. It just made me more mindful of both learning and teaching.
The Day I Became A Better Photographer
For me, the day that I became a better photographer was the day that I decided to become one. Let me explain.
I was working in the film industry for close to 10 years and got to the point where I asked myself, there's gotta be more to life than this, right?
So I decided to move overseas as a way to explore somewhere new and disconnect from what I already knew, I left my job, friends, family, my home, and my spoken language behind. And it was a truly transformative experience. But I didn't become a better photographer just because I decided to move, or just because I changed careers, or started a YouTube channel, anybody can do that.
I became a better photographer because I said to myself, this is what I want to do now, and I will. Nothing is going to stop me, nothing is going to get in the way, I won't give up halfway of half-ass it, It's going to happen, No matter what.
And it did, after that, I was able to capture some of my personal favourite photographs. It provided a break from life as I knew it and gave me some room to dedicate myself to the craft.
But once again, it wasn't a specific camera that made a better photographer, or mastering the settings or being super inspired about moving. It wasn't a country that made a better photographer, and yes all those things did help one way or another.
It was me, coming to terms with what I wanted to do, deciding, taking action, and most importantly, not letting anything else get in the way. I then and there, decided that I was going to be a better photographer, no matter what.
How Do You Know That You Are "Good" At Your Craft?
When I see some of the best photographs & films in history, it's all about the impact and the feelings that these invoke. At least that's the case for me.
After writing this, reviewing all this information and gathering my thoughts, the question arises, how do you know if you are good enough, how can you properly assess yourself and be honest with yourself.
Some people will tell you that it's subjective, some others will tell you that there are clear indications if you are good or not. And I think it comes down to your own feeling about the subject.
Generally speaking, the more you know, the more experience you have, and the better your photographs in this case, the more you understand that you don't know nearly as much as you should. The more you feel like your work is not good enough. The more you seek to be better.
Like our good friend, Plato once said:
"I know that I know nothing." -- Plato
The good news is that when you're seeking knowledge and trying to be better, you're not really thinking about others people and constantly comparing yourself. So in the grand scheme of things this question does not matter.
Watch the full YouTube video here: