If you are a photographer and believe you are in a rut, maybe it’s time to consider moving up. There are two distinct but related ways of going about accomplishing this change. Before you even consider following a specific route, you must look at your work first. Only after examining what you have done so far can you take your photography to the next level.
Go over your photos. Select those you consider your best examples. Get help from a friend if necessary. Create a portfolio, mounting and displaying your work to the best advantage possible. Show a group of friends this project. Ask them what they see as the strong and weak points of your work. Note their comments. Using this information, further cull your pieces.
Once you have a solid portfolio, take it to a professional. This could be a photographer, someone who teaches courses, a professor or instructor of theory, or someone else in the field or industry. They can provide you with the information you need. They can tell you what they see is good and bad and indifferent. They can help you see your work as others see it. Furthermore, their comments will show in what areas you need improvement.
Once you complete this assessment, you can look at your options. Two separate but related paths to your goal are the basic alternatives available to you. You can consider either or both as serious possibilities. They are complimentary, can work closely together and it is possible both paths are open to you.
It is possible you only require improved or more advanced technology to help you reach the next level. This is a simple, but sometimes expensive solution. If this is what is required, look carefully at your choices. Do not proceed without careful examination of the specific technology you may need. Check out prices of various types, try them if possible and get opinions from other photographers.
Be a wise consumer. Read the literature available. Check out all the reviews. Prepare a list of comparisons among the options. Do not impulse buy. Only when you have actually prepared solid basis for your purchase, should you consider purchasing the necessary equipment. Remember, you might have to sign up for lessons in how to operate and implement the technology properly. If it is possible, take a course so you can try out the mechanics before you make a purchase.
Your work may be technically advanced but require finesse. You can select a solution from several possibilities. Sometimes, practice will iron out the roughness. At other times, it is best to sign up for instruction, apprentice yourself to another photographer or enroll yourself in a photography course.
If this is your path, choose wisely. Do the research. Look up the different options available. Is there a local night course? Does a community college offer a course or even a diploma in the areas you need to develop or hone? Can a neighborhood photographer take you on as an apprentice? Is there an answer online?
You need to address these questions. Do you homework. Compile a list of what is offered and who offers it. Gather a reference list. Consider cost, time and other expenses. Do these courses or curriculum offer you what you need to reach the next level in your photography? Does the school, college or individual have a credible reputation?
Then, consider who is teaching the material. Are the instructors theoretical or practical or both? Can they address individual as well as group needs? Are they credible with the right background and actual experience? Do they work with the latest technology? Are they also cognitive of the traditional methods?
Once you have the answers to these and other questions, you can proceed to sign up for the appropriate course or buy the solution to your photographic dilemma. Make the right decision and you can them move on to improve your photography.