The best advice I give anyone who wants to become good at something, is to do it. Constantly and consistently, become obsessed and love the practice. This goes double for photography. Unfortunately, I think social media has ruined the expectation of taking photos and that really sucks.
I was at one time worried about only taking photos that everyone likes. Studying the settings people used and trying to recreate shots that others had taken. I spent far too long picking through Instagram to find shots for places I was due to visit. Looking for the right angles and interesting things to look at. I learnt a lot, but it ruined my motivation for photography for a while because I always felt I didn’t live in an interesting enough place.
Like most things, Instagram is a photography version of comparing your insides to someone else’s outsides. All I began to see was crystal clear, pin sharp images that had been edited perfectly, and my shots never looked like the ones I wanted to recreate. The reality is that I didn’t see their trash can, nor the times that tried to shoot things and missed, I just saw the best of the best. My shots were never going to live up to the standard I thought I should be at and that sucked.
Thankfully, I quickly realised that I wasn’t taking shots for other people. I was taking them for me and wanted something different from everyone else anyway. An easy way to do this was to take pictures of things, rather than capturing moments. I began to focus on things that caught my eye and rare moments that were unlikely to be seen again. Unfortunately, this can lead to instances where I only gain a handful of shots I am happy with despite hours of shooting. Or more often than I care to admit, they all went in the bin!
As my interests change to street photography, the chances of poor outings increase dramatically, so my motivation can take a hit occasionally. That doesn’t mean I will stop taking them, though. That one shot I am pleased with is worth the grind of getting nothing at all.