It's no secret that we all have to start somewhere. Usually, that place is not very good. At the very least we all start out in the “room for improvement” category. Assuming that progressing with our work and improving our images, style, brand, knowledge, and skill set is the goal, how to we go about getting better at a quicker-than-a-snail pace? The answer is straight forward, but requires deliberate action. Intelligent investment of time and money is the fastest way to get improve quickly.
Time is constant (at least as it applies to our everyday lives), precious, and we can't get it back once it's gone. So intentionally using our available time wisely is the surest way to accomplish our goals. The same is true of our money. Investing in areas that are going to directly move us forward are the best kind of investment. How does any of this apply to improving our photography work though?
Where you put your time and money is vital to the rate at which you're going to improve. Take Youtube for example. It's an incredible free resource that has videos on every subject you can imagine. However, all Youtube content is not created equal. Some videos are more informative, more in depth, or more structured than others. Furthermore, I am a firm believer that we each respond differently to different presentations. Dedicating time to finding the Youtube channels, creators, and educators that “click” with you and your style of learning is one avenue absolutely worth your time. If you watch five different videos about a subject, but only one of them is presented in a manner that really makes sense to you, watch more of the content from that specific channel.
While Youtube is always a great go-to source for information, I believe that investing (yes, financial investment) in specific tutorials and presentations are also great ways to learn a lot very quickly. Do your research first and make sure that the content supports the price. Read reviews and ask questions; when you're paying for something, make sure you're getting value from the product. You're allowed to be picky; it's your money. There are a number of different educational sites available to you offering courses on a variety of subjects. Many world class photographers offer tutorials and instructional content of their own ranging from multi-part video tutorials to Photoshop actions or Lightroom presets. If you have an absolute favorite photographer, check out their website and see if they offer anything like that.
It all boils down to using your time and money with purpose. If you're going to be watching Youtube videos about photography, videography,Photoshop, business, or anything else make sure that the video you're watching is worth the time it takes to watch it. Follow the channels that you connect with and that actually make sense in your own work flow. Just because something has a ton of views doesn't mean that you're automatically going to connect with it, a smaller channel's content can be just as great (or even better) than a huge channel. Strategically invest your money into specific tutorials from photographers and reputable sources after researching the quality of the content.
Take your education and creative development seriously. Place your time and money in areas that steer you closer towards your goals. At the end of the day, practice makes perfect. Never forget that you can watch all the video content in the world but you have to actually get out there and shoot. When you find something that works, practice, repeat, improve. Leave a comment down below with your thoughts and experience on the subject. What have you found that has helped you improve quickly?