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Step 7 from Annabel Williams - Get rid of the elements of photography you don't like doing.

Step 7 from Annabel Williams - Get rid of the elements of photography you don't like doing. - Step 7 of Annabel Williams' 10 steps to success and happiness as a creative person!

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Photo by Annabel Williams
 Photograph by Annabel Williams.
Are you taking certain photos because you think you should, or because someone has told you to do it in a certain way?  Are there elements of your photography that you don't really like doing?

Often I am asked to look at people's websites and portfolios, and it is usually very obvious which pictures they do not enjoy taking; they usually stand out from the rest.  Most photographers start out as a jack of all trades - photographing every job they are asked to do.  This is understandable because at the beginning you need to take every job you can to pay the bills!  But this can soon become the thing that stops you succeeding - because you have a portfolio full of photos which don't show a style, and you can become confused by too many different elements.

Photo by Annabel Williams
 Photograph by Annabel Williams.
I have seen some outstanding photographers who have amazing talent at landscapes or outdoor portraits, travel or architecture, but who are still shooting some of their pictures on a white studio background, which makes what they are good at seem weaker.  I always think you are judged by your worst piece of work - so if it's not in your portfolio it will make everything else so much stronger.  Many photographers show me whole shoots which still contain blinks, and blurred images which they haven't thrown out.  Be decisive - get rid of the stuff that you will never sell, before you show it to anyone.  Years ago, when I got all my pictures back from the lab as prints, I would immediately throw all the rubbish away, so I was only left with the good shots - and people used to say "that's amazing - there isn't a bad one among them" - of course there wasn't - they were all in the bin!  If I'd left them in - they would have had to pick through the rubbish to find the good ones - which then dilutes your work.

Photo by Annabel Williams
 Photograph by Annabel Williams.
Look at your work, and pick out the shoots that you are really proud of; then look at the ones that you don't like - what is it that separate these two types?  If you struggle with some of your work it is probably because it's not really you.  Understand that photography is fun and easy, if you find it difficult then you need to do it differently.  Look at the shoots that make you excited and get you motivated and inspired, and decide to pursue this type of work.  Talk to photographer's whose work excites you - find out how they learnt to do certain things. Start specialising and you will actually get more work.  You will attract the type of clients that like that kind of work, and then you can begin to get a name for yourself in this field.

Photo by Annabel Williams
 Photograph by Annabel Williams.
There are lots of elements of photography that I hated when I first started, and I learnt to say no to them, because shooting stuff I don't enjoy or find difficult to do just stresses me out, whereas the shoots I love, I just can't get enough of!  You might say - well it's ok for you, you can pick and choose - but that's not how it started...I used to do everything that came along from school photography to scar photography, and all it did was exhaust me because I was doing lots of cheap shoots and getting very demotivated.  When I decided to specialise in photographing women and children - suddenly people saw me as the expert in this field and I got inundated with work of that kind, and it grew from there.

Be brave, have the confidence to follow the kind of photography you love - drop the elements you don't like doing and use that time to develop your own style and push yourself into the right marketplace, and you will be amazed at what happens.

Visit Annabel Williams website for more details.

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