When it comes to photography, there is no substitute for confidence. Many technically competent photographers have missed out on getting that "perfect shot" purely because of a failure to believe in themselves.
Confidence is an empowering attribute which you should try to develop. To help you with this, here are some of my top tips:
Create a notebook
Keep a log of your experiences, places visited, etc. Treat it like a diary or a scrapbook and insert inspiring images. Write down your thoughts and ideas and set yourself some goals.
Become familiar with your equipment
Nothing could be worse than missing an ideal photo opportunity because you were too busy trying to figure out how to access a particular function on your camera. Learn about your camera and its accessories as this knowledge will really boost your confidence. Knowing that you can adapt your equipment to manage a variety of situations is a key skill to have.
Practice, practice, practice
A big part of being confident is to take shots whenever possible. Frequency and consistency will enable you to have faith that your shots will come out as expected.
Experience different conditions
A photographer loves it when there are no complications and they have the perfect environment for taking shots. How often does that really happen though? We can plan to shoot at a particular time and at a certain location but there are so many other factors which we cannot always plan for or have control over, such as weather or lighting conditions. Spend some time shooting subjects in low light and then change and photograph subjects which are perhaps backlit. Just get out there, shoot and remember to record what you learn in your notebook.
Set yourself goals
Is there something in particular you have always wanted to try (e.g. a new technique or shooting environment) but haven't yet because of a lack of resources or confidence? Write it down in your notebook and review it at regular intervals to check on your progress. If you are having trouble achieving your goal, why don’t you mention it in our Student Forum? You can receive encouragement and inspiration from your tutor and other students to help you.
Nobody knows everything. If you have questions or doubts about something, just ask. It is a simple way to ensure you are doing things correctly and can boost your confidence enormously.
Everyone feels discouraged sometimes, especially when we compare our own work to that of other photographers. It is really important to remember that although there may be many photographers who are more accomplished than ourselves, there are also many who are much less accomplished. Try to adopt a different way of viewing the work of others. Instead of feeling inferior, think “Wow! That’s a great shot, I’m going to start practicing to achieve that kind of shot myself.”
Being a confident photographer is all about empowering yourself. I hope these tips help you. If you have any other tips, please let us know.