As photographers we are constantly learning. It's how we get better at our craft, to say we are always learning is an understatement. Everyone I know in the field is always looking up how to do something better or more efficiently. People tend to start to see these when they try to transition mediums, be it from photo to video, and they begin to realize they have to learn things from the ground up. As photographers we tend to stick with what we know we are good at, but how do we go about identifying our weaknesses and improve on them?
Feedback, Feedback, Feedback
Use people around you to find your strengths; yes I know we are looking for weaknesses. People tend to always give you the good news first, so get that out of the way, and then probe further. The best way to go about this is to ask them flat out, "what do you think I could do better?" Or, "what don't you like about this image?" This gets their gears working and them seeing your work in a new light. First and foremost approach your colleagues and individuals in the field because they will know exactly what to look for and go through your work with a fine tooth comb. Next, reach out to friends and folks outside of the business. Their perspectives are going to let you know what the non-photographers are looking for out of your work. It's going to make you a well rounded creative and also teach you to build some thicker skin by taking constructive feedback.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
The best way for you to understand where your weaknesses are is to step outside of your comfort zone. This will cause you to take risks, which will push your creativity. It's much easier to see where you have slipped up when you become extra critical of the work you are doing. By pushing your creative boundaries you are forcing yourself to look at your work more closely, in turn you find more and more weaknesses to improve on.
Revisit Old Work
Want to see how far you have come, go take a look at the work you did a year ago. You're bound to find some areas that you can improve in. Take the weaknesses you've identified in your current work and see if they are present in what you have done in the past. While it may seem redundant it will allow you to see where you chose to focus your efforts in your work, and where you should go back to make improvements just to shown how far you've come.
By owning up to our weaknesses as creatives it is easier for us to accept a lot more of our work. Plenty of us think of ourselves as perfectionists and sometimes sit on images far too long. When you understand that you have a weakness, it means you can only learn and grow from what you are currently creating. By being able to be honest with yourself, you may stumble upon to a new venture all together and something you are even more passionate about. Weakness is not a bad thing, it just means that you are constantly growing as a photographer.