“My inconsistency is driving me crazy! I think I do the same thing at every shoot but I keep getting inconsistent results--great some days and trash the next. How do I get my photography to a high-level and keep it there?”
Thanks for writing in, Kelly. One of the common concerns that my coaching clients identify as holding them back is a lack of consistency in their photography. Like you, Kelly, they say they have a great shoot every now and then (and they give me sample photos to prove it) but they’re not quite sure what stops them from knocking it out of the park on most days. One of the things that I share with them is to start looking at their concerns in a different way. It’s my belief that the key to consistently staying at a high-level--let’s call it sustained excellence--comes from the discipline of trying to get to a series of small wins, then going after some big eureka moment when everything clicks, time after time. These short-term accomplishments are driven by achievable behaviors that lead to entrenched habits, rather than focusing on long-term goals (or wishes).
My wife has competed in numerous marathons and I marvel at her discipline and focus to achieve that remarkable accomplishment. One of the things she does in her months-long preparation is to follow a training regimen developed by her favorite marathon training guru, where a tiny bit more distance or intensity is added with each workout. I think the same type of thinking can be applied to our photography by focusing on the mantra of: Do ONE thing better today.
It can be anything. Perhaps, it might be experimenting with different ways to bounce off-camera flash; or spending extra time thinking through a better composition in a “hero shot” room; or trying to capture most rooms in the next house you're going to shoot with a focal length of no more than 24mm; or setting aside an uninterrupted 30-minutes every night or two to go online, trying to find new editing techniques or to watch/re-watch tutorials that you haven’t viewed since you bought them.
This process of establishing a habit and achieving small wins, works! Why? Dr. Mark Tobin, a sports psychologist and executive coach, offers these three reasons which I found in one of his blog posts:
So, what do you think? For those in our community who’ve been successful at shooting real estate for a while, what’s contributed to achieving consistency in your photography?
Tony Colangelo is a residential and commercial photographer, as well as a photography coach, based in Victoria, BC, Canada. He is a long-time contributor to PFRE and is the creator of The Art & Science of Great Composition tutorial series.