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    Bad Photographers Think They’re Good: Why Does It Matter so Much to Everyone?

    There are many bad photographers who think they are good. The topic of why has been discussed on countless occasions. But, is it a bad thing? Is it really wrong to be bad and think you’re good? Let’s find out.

    When I started out in photography, I naturally thought I had it all figured out after my first job. Illya was a professional photographer who knew everything from camera settings to, well, camera settings. Things like lighting, posing, composition, and proportion never crossed my mind. Why would they? I am a guy who’s paid to take pictures, so why should I bother about anything else? Why Did I Think I Was Good When I Clearly Wasn’t?

    What you just read is a prime example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, which describes a seemingly illogical occurrence in the human brain. When someone has just started learning a skill, their actual knowledge is considerably lower than their perceived knowledge. In fact, some say that perceived knowledge peaks at the start. The reason this happens is because of the influx of new information in the brain. It is fairly easy to learn the basics, and there is a clear difference between not knowing how to set shutter speed and knowing how to set it. Essentially, the basics make up for around 5% of the total knowledge, but they are the fastest 5% when it comes to learning. Hence, it seems like there is a lot of new information that entered the head, hence perceived knowledge skyrockets. 

    Is It Useful To Be Bad and Think You’re Good?

    With the reason behind the Dunning-Kruger effect outlined, I want to get to the core of this article, which is an evaluation of its usefulness to beginner photographers. As far as I understand, high perceived knowledge gives a high level of confidence in yourself as a creative. Confidence is of vital importance, especially as a beginner. Had I never experienced slightly (greatly) increased perceived knowledge levels at the start, I would be stuck two years behind in my career.

    There is always an opposing force when you’re starting out, be it friends or harsh reality. That opposing force has one goal: to stop you from doing whatever you are doing. Be it out of jealousy or otherwise, the opposing force is there. However, in order to move forward, your force has to only be higher than the opposing one. Using the perceived confidence of the Dunning-Kruger effect can be very helpful in this regard as it will provide a part of that force. More often than not, seeing the progress is helpful in boosting confidence as a photographer. Short Term Versus Long Term Effects

    This isn’t without caveats. The Dunning-Kruger effect can be harvested for benefit only for a short period of time. It is important to understand that it is not a reliable long-term source of confidence. This is why you should be striving to overcome the Dunning-Kruger effect in order to achieve that long-term security in skill. 

    Overcoming the Dunning-Kruger Effect

    Some of the best ways I used to overcome it are: 1. Reaching Out to Photographers You Admire and Asking for Feedback

    This looks and feels scary. Why? Just because someone is further in their career doesn’t mean they’re less of a person or some unknown creature that eats anyone who’s below them. We are all people with emotions, compassion, and understanding. By being afraid to reach out to a photographer you admire and ask for feedback, you are limiting yourself. They probably know exactly what you need to do to get to the next step. Reaching out is exactly how I became friends with a world-renowned photographer that has worked with iconic clients. 

    One more way to get feedback on your work is to reach out to people that hire or represent photographers. When I was looking for an agent, I was invested in looking for both global and local representation. Having reached out to one local agency, I got plenty of useful and important feedback that helped me progress further in my career as a photographer. 2. Learning

    In a recent article, I discussed the importance of learning all the time as a professional photographer. There should never be a point where you feel like you know everything about one given thing. Be it how to light or how to compose, or anything else. If you think you know everything, recognize that you are a beginner. A current one for me is the history of fashion. As a fashion photographer, I must know how my subject developed over time. Just like any portrait photographer must know their subject inside out, I must know fashion inside-out.  3. Feel Grateful (Not Hateful) for Old Work That Taught a Lesson

    I strive to always have gratitude for the past, no matter good or bad. Although my old work is not up to my current standard, it is still something to be grateful for. I wouldn’t be here without what I’ve done in the past. That said, you must be able to identify clear progress and be able to break down how your new work is of a higher standard than old work. 4. Not Forgetting to Enjoy the Journey

    No matter where you are in your photography journey, it is vital to enjoy it. Even if now you may fall under the category of bad photographers that think they’re good, try to learn from it. Often, knowing the why behind your images can do a lot to propel you forward while ensuring that you are being present with your current self. Simply focusing on producing work and reflecting afterward leads to the journey being very enjoyable, and as a result, you end up overcoming the Dunning-Kruger effect. 

    Closing Thoughts 

    The Dunning-Kruger effect is a great boost when you’re starting out. Fast learning comes across as learning a lot, which at the start, helped me be a more confident photographer. In hindsight, I am grateful for that period, as it was part of the journey. Sure, the further I went, the more I realized how little I know, but at the same time, I knew that if I could shoot a two-day event with 500 people at 18, I could probably do the next assignment. The Dunning-Kruger effect gave boosts of confidence; overcoming it simply changed the source of confidence from perceived knowledge to past experience. Of course, that is evolving all the time, and now, confidence comes from a plethora of sources, while knowledge and past experience make up for a small part of that. 

    Photos: Pride And Queer Stories Through The Lens Of Black Women Photographers

    Each year, Pride Month is a time to celebrate the achievements made in the fight for LGBTQ equality and remember the work that still needs to be done for equal rights and protections.

    NPR reached out to the Black Women Photographers community for images of past Pride celebrations or projects focusing on LGBTQ stories. This community of photographers is striving to create a space where stories are shared among like-minded individuals in the hopes of inspiring and empowering one another.

    Photographers from the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom shared with NPR their images and thoughts on what Pride means to them this year. This selection of images showcases the photographers’ innovative approaches to documenting their communities, histories and points of view.Alexis Hunley

    This year, Pride means love in the fullest, truest sense. Love of self, love for my peers, love for my community. Love as an action and a choice rather than an emotion. Love that moves us toward the liberation and celebration of queer people everywhere.Cindy Elizabeth

    For me, Pride is about celebration and the acts of thriving and building intentional kinship. As a queer Black woman, this means thriving in the face of homophobia, racism and misogynoir and building intentional community with Black queer folks as well as other queer people of color. After this past year of isolation, this feels more important to me now than it ever has.Dee Dwyer

    Pride to me means freedom and love. It means to live in your truth loud and proud.Lindsay Perryman

    Pride means to me being able to be undeniably yourself and accepting who you are even if others don’t. Accepting yourself is the most important part.Lyra Vega Hamenya

    This project [‘Loved by You’] is a visual and poetic exploration of Black queer love. I aimed to capture how lonely and isolating the process of queer love can be. The journey to self acceptance is not particularly colorful and throughout the celebration of pride month, it is important to remember the full scope of global LGBTQ experience.

    I was born in Ghana before moving to the UK with my parents. Recently Ghanaian MPs proposed a law making it illegal to advocate for LGBTQ+ people and identities. This law effectively removes any and all civil routes for LGBTQ+ people and organisations who seek to challenge the already hostile treatment of queer people. Pride to me is a reminder of how much we have left to do.Yanissa

    Complete and total self-acceptance is what Pride means to me. “Intersectionality,” a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, aimed at exploring the complexities within the LGBTQ+ community. Although many face discrimination due to their choice of a love partner, race and gender also add a layer of marginalization which has to be addressed. [This photo] is an attempt at giving a voice to those who have been silenced through boundless and timeless imagery.

    Amna Ijaz is NPR’s Visuals Team photo editing intern this summer.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Their high-end work gets the most attention, but a trio of Milwaukee photographers is redefining traditional portraiture

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    Wedding photography – Wikipedia

    The Ultimate Guide To Wedding Photography (97 Best Tips!) (expertphotography.com)

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