Let’s face it, everyone starts somewhere, and no one is good to begin with. I think everyone has experienced a period of frustration, knowing you can do better but your work isn’t up to the standard that you want it to be. As the famous Ira Glass quote goes: “For the first couple of years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.” Lack of patience is one reason why many photographers quit early on in their careers; A lot of people don’t understand that it takes time to develop your style and technique, as well as build a brand. They might burn out because they have expected too much to happen in the first few years of their careers. One way to avoid this is by trying not to put yourself under a time limit. Instead, make small steps to improve your work. Think of small changes you can make or little things you can learn to make your next shoot better. Review each shoot and make note of one thing you could do better in your next shoot.
Also try taking a look back at your first photoshoot or images that you took at the start of this year. You might be surprised at how much your work has grown and how quickly a couple of years have gone by.
Here is a quick example of me tracking my own progress. The image on the left was the first shoot I did with a model that wasn’t a family member or friend, back in 2014. The image on the right is a shot from one of my most recent shoots with an actress. I cringed a lot when I looked back on my work from years ago, and I’m sure in a few years time I will look back on the work I’m doing now and cringe too. But it is all part of the process and without taking plenty of bad images, I never would have been able to learn and develop the techniques that I use today.