How do we learn taste? And this is a tough one. I think, first of all, it's time put in. There's something about experience that seasons us and gives us insight to draw from. But, it's not just time though, and I bet we all know someone who's been doing an activity for a while and quite frankly, they stink at it. Think about playing an instrument, cooking, driving, et cetera. So that tells me that time put in by itself is not a guarantee or an indicator of taste and skill, which is what most people call talent. So look at the photos you took in the first day, week, or month you owned your camera, and do you still like them as much as you did then? Have you taken better photos since? So it's not just time that gives us taste, but time spent informed by outside influences and reflection. Once we begin an activity, I think the way we intake that is heightened, comparing our personal experience and skill level to date with people who have dedicated their lives to a craft. And this starts t...
his gap that I mentioned between taste and skill level. And as we spend more time thinking about what it is we truly want to make and what we can't stand not to make, I think that heightens our vision and actually challenges us to create what we're feeling. I think the most valuable thing I can give you in this lesson is to recognize that all of our experiences in life inform everything else we do. So, exploring other photographers' work, paintings, movies, festivals, travel, just life itself. Those are the things that give us a creative bearing, but where we want to go with it comes from inside. I think it's kinda crazy when I hear other musicians or photographers say they try not to listen to other bands or look at other people's work. We really do bring something unique to the table ourselves when we put in the time and effort, and I think our vision and value is honed far more effectively when we have more experiences to draw from. Taste, to me, has a much better name, and that is discernment. And I bet that a lot of you watching this already know how to create good photos. You've likely shot a lot and done some identifying of your own on what works and what doesn't work. And that's a great place to be, but it does come with its own challenges because a lot of us learned really quickly and then hit this wall. So a lot of times, we've got the technical skill down because honestly, that's relatively simple, but since we were completely focused on that at first, now that our head's above water, we don't know which way to swim. Keeping our taste above our current skill level makes us picky, and I think that being picky is a really good thing to be. Let's say you have an incredible concept. You plan for it, you do everything right, and after the shoot, you don't have that one image that's the thing you were picturing. A picky person says no way. I'm gonna do this again until I get it right, and I'm not gonna dilute my vision with happenstance. I've got this. And we can be picky about a lot of things. The frames we pick and don't pick being the most visible, but we also need to be picky about the ingredients we use. Let me talk a little bit about that. Do you feel like your subject truly gets where you're trying to go? Do they seem like a good fit? Is your wardrobe selection really right? Are the props good? What expression did you want when you envisioned the shoot? Did you actually think about it? You should be able to see it, otherwise, we're gonna have an even easier time just accepting good enough. This is how we evolve our portfolios. We should be planning these images, designing these images, and putting all of our creative energy into bringing them into fruition.