Doing anything the first time around is bound to be the beginning of a mountain that needs to be conquered. Starting off something new generally comes with a lot of expectations with most of them shattered from early experience of practice.
Many times I've tried things over and over again and got closer and closer to an ideal worth being proud of. When it came to trying out that same lighting look or that same event, at first I felt I was only repeating myself and not having a sense of progression.
Only from looking back at all the projects accomplished did I realize that my repetition was directly linked to my improvement. Practice does make perfect but only thorough repeated effort do we get to see the fruits of its results.
“Document Your Progress Daily”
It's important to be aware of your progress. When you think your just doing the same thing over and over again, what's really happening is your mastering your craft. Fixing up the tiny details over and over again until it becomes second nature to create a certain look.
There was this one particular look I was always repeating in studio. I still use it today and has now become my fail safe setup for any situation. In the beginning stages of its development, my main concern was about the lighting and all the details pertaining to it. Once the setup was ingrained in my mind it now gave me room to master other aspects of the look and venture into posing the subject. Once I figured that out, it opened a new world of possibilities and still does today. Having the same lighting setup started off as a limitation but in the end enabled me to master certain aspects and achieve a new level of creativity. Lighting was the only important thing on my mind but I came to realize that there are so many other things involved when creating a great photograph.
“Create A Unique Style In The Process”
After awhile of trying the same things over, I started to create a style that's unique to who I am. The artist inside of me now has room to paint and create the vision deep within. Eventually creating something original for my brand of photography and hopefully creating iconic photography as my career progresses.
The Idea of always practicing, gets you obsessed with the details. Something that you didn't see in the beginning slowly starts to reveal you the secrets after you master certain portions of the art. That's the gift from continuous practice. Bringing out what was hidden in plain sight, showing it to others and elevating what's possible. Some may think of you as a genius but really it's only because you chiseled and refined that grind stone so much did you reveal the diamond that was hidden underneath the dust all this time.
It becomes better when you consistently raise the standard with each attempt at the same look. Always be willing to ask yourself general questions followed by deeper ones until you get to the heart of the matter.
What would make the lighting better?
Now do you bring out more of the eyes?
What would it take to get a better expression?
If I acted out what I was looking for, would it help the model have a better idea?