There’s a theory that Malcolm Gladwell wrote about in his book “Outliers” that is very applicable to creative pursuits such as photography. He posits that anyone can master anything if they put 10,000 hours of practice into it. The idea is that you don’t have to be born with talent to be good at something.
Let’s do the math. If you’re a keen photographer and you practice an hour a day, this rule says it’ll take you 27 years to master! Crank that up to 8 hours a day, about the time spent on a fulltime job, and that reduces to 5 years.
It’s not just about the amount of time you spend, it’s about how you’re spending this time. Deliberate, thoughtful practice is the key. Constantly monitor and evaluate your progress. Make adjustments to make sure you’re moving in the right direction.
In photography, this is all about knowing the types of photos you want to make, objectively evaluating the merits of your work, planning your image taking and getting feedback from the right people. You’ll need some luck along the way, but it’s like the saying goes – the more you practice, the luckier you get.
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