Years of practice, education, patience and mistakes go into making you a competent photographer. The value of progress cannot be underestimated as you move from rank beginner all the way to (hopefully) master. The first time you moved the dial from one of the idiot modes and set it to M. The first time you used off-camera lighting. The first layer mask you worked on, your first professional sale, license or assignment. All can be counted as steps on your path to wherever it is that you want to go.
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You can break any creative project down into smaller steps and create mini-goals along the way to measure your progress. Start from your basic idea and move on from there. Secured the location? That’s progress. Tested and hired a model? More progress. Arranged assistants? Still more progress.
What if you want to shoot an assignment for a major publication? Break it down into smaller steps and chart your progress by them. Create a body of work. Progress. Get your first publication credits in local magazines (and remember to value your work). Identify regional publications. Find out who the photo buyers and editors are. Prepare marketing material and send it. Wash rinse and repeat. Then do it again and again until you’ve worked your way up to the position to want to be in.
Each step represents a little more progress. Use the waypoints to inspire you as you approach the goal. Each point you pass, every step along the path you take puts you that much closer to the end.
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