Where is Your Photography?

Today everyone is a “photographer.”  Everyone seems to have a smartphone, and if someone has a smartphone does that makes them a photographer?  But when you look at the images that people put on Facebook or Instagram or you see on the screen of their smartphone you realize that everyone may NOT be a photographer, or at least not what Ansel Adams would have called a photographer years ago.

There is nothing wrong with taking photos with your smartphone.  In fact, a classic saying of many experienced photographers is “The best camera you have is the one you have in your hands” which might be the case tonight for that amazing sunset if you forgot your Nikon/Canon.  But what if you are taking improvement in you photography seriously?  What if you are willing to make a commitment to spend the time/energy to improve your photography?  What do you have to do to get those beautiful photos of landscapes, or wildlife, or family portraits, or just interesting street photographs?  You could go to college and major in art and photography.  You could sign-up for photography classes or pay a bundle to hire a professional photographer to teach you about your camera and photography.  You could spend lots of hours reading about photography on-line and/or you could join a local photography club.  Will these steps move your forward?  Maybe.  But what are the “guarantees” for improvement?

Sorry, there are no guarantees for how to improve your photography.  But for the last five years I have spent many hours wondering, and exploring, what someone can do to improve their own photography.  As a university professor who taught teachers for 40 years, it is in my DNA to figure out how people learn … and in my retirement I wanted to explore how people learn to become a better photographer.  And I started out by exploring how I was improving and how my photography friends were improving.  I feel like now I have a fairly good “foundation of understanding” that I’d like to share with you AND a path to learn more.

Fortunately, I am retired and I live in a very photogenic environment near Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park.  I have the time, a photogenic place to practice my photography, a wonderful photography club (Teton Photography Club), and a great group of my peers who mentor one another so that we all Advance Together ( Peer Mentor Program.)  If you are committed to improving your photography, I hope you will jump on the First an Amateur website and join us in  our journey to figure out, and apply, what helps committed amateur photographers to improve their photos.