"Learn, practice, learn, practice, learn, practice..." If you think that sounds like someone meditating on a mantra, you're not far off. I found a great online learning venue last week called creativeLive.com. They have some fantastic workshops with some very talented and successful photographers.
I have spent many hours watching their shows and one in particular; "How to build a high volume [high school] Senior photography business." has really captured my attention and effort.
It focuses mostly on the business and workflow aspects of being a photographer. It assumes that you have your skills and techniques figured out. But then they get radical.
You have to realize that the standard for serious digital photographers is often "Take a lot of pictures but delete most of them." But the (very successful) teacher of this course practices "One shot per pose." in his studio. He shoots quickly and will take only about 20 pictures for a 12 shot photo shoot.
I have been at the park photographing ducks and geese several times. And I'll come home with 300 - 500 pictures on a good day. This leads to about 3 to 5 hours of post processing on my computer. And about 5 to 10 shots that are good enough for me to be willing to post on the web. The "Don't Overshoot!" paradigm is radically new for me and is way outside of the standard industry practice.
I have implemented this in some of my "Personal Projects" (A photo shoot of my choice for the sole purpose of learning new ways to photograph new things.) I came home from a day of shooting with less than 100 photographs. I got just as many "keepers" that day as I would have gotten before, but with a lot less hours at the computer.
I have a family portrait photo shoot this weekend and will be pushing toward "not overshooting" and a rapid and efficient post processing (developing and retouching the images on my computer) workflow.
I'm excited to see how it goes.
I don't plan on taking only 20 pictures, I'm sure it will be more like 100, but it won't be the 500 shots I would have taken before I saw the workshop on creativeLive.com.
Stay tuned, I'll be posting the pictures soon. And wish me luck!
Thanks for looking.