The more you do something, the better you get at it, practice, practice, practice!
I recommend doing some kind of a picture a day, project. Back in 2009, I decided to force myself to take a picture every day for a year, to document a year of my life. I joined something called a 365 group on the Flickr site that I use for my photo storage. https://www.flickr.com/photos/amford61/sets/72157617874208619/
I have to admit, it was hard to look at myself in photos, but I was the one always taking the photos and there were not very many of me. Now my kids have a year's worth if they need some for my funeral.
Most days I just poked fun at myself and didn't really improve my photography skills. I was always having to put my camera on a timer or ask someone else to take the shot.
What did happen, was I had to become more creative and had to think of how to change things up a bit. Also, because I was posting these photos for other people to see, I wanted them to be good photos. As you can see by some of them, I really didn't know what I was doing. I did however, spend a lot of time reading up on photography to figure out what I was doing wrong.
After the year was over, I was hooked. I wasn't hooked on taking selfies every day, but I was hooked on using my camera every day.
I started another 365, but this one was for taking a picture of anything everyday. Because of my desire to not post just any old picture, I really started to learn more about photography. I looked at subjects from different angles and tried to not take typical shots. My first try at taking the above tulip was really boring. I tried different ways of taking it, and this is the one I liked the best.
For the above picture, I noticed this ant was attracted to my watermelon. I let him get right in there and got my macro lens out. That ant and I spent over an hour together and I learned a lot about depth of field and focus and he didn't mind at all.
Sometimes I planned out my shots. Like the ones above and below, instead of waiting for something to happen.
I went to places looking for something to photograph.
Each time you create a picture, you gain more skill. Failed pictures are opportunities to learn how to get it right.
A while back I asked a friend, who used to love to take pictures, why she stopped taking them. She told me she had run out of thing to take pictures of. There is always something to take pictures of. Even a doorknob can be interesting, even without clouds "Photoshopped" on them, but to add a bit of interest, I added them. Learning how to use photoshop and other editing software, has been another outcome of taking more pictures.
Everyday stuff can be interesting.
In preparing for this post, I looked back at my images from the project and realized that I miss taking a picture for myself every day. I really like the variety that I came up with, so I decided to try again, not necessarily every day, but at least 2 or three times a week. I was able to capture this hawk the other day because I had my camera with me when my husband spied it on a neighbor's lawn as we were driving by.
Here is another sample of one I took this week for fun. I went looking for this one.
Finally, this is what I found as my profile for the 365 project when I went to look it up for this blog. I had forgotten that I had written that. At the time, I had no inkling that my wish would ever be true. God has blessed me with so much!
After 31 years of teaching, I have decided to retire and start a new chapter of my life as a photographer. It has been my passion for about 7 years now.