Something which I have started doing recently is taking some time after a key photoshoot to write a brief but detailed review on everything from how it went to how I want to improve.
I suppose I first learned to do this while studying photography both at a level and degree level. Remember back in art subjects where you had to fill sketch books with ideas and inspirations? It’s sort of like that but without the pressure as you’re the only one it has to benefit.
Why it’s a good idea
It keeps you on track with your work
It allows you to learn and become a better photographer
It helps keep your portfolio look consistent
It helps you identify what you love and what needs more work
What kind of photography will this benefit?
I can’t think of any form of photography that this might be a bad thing for. Personally I use it for family photography, documentary and fine art just the same.
Some prompts to get you started…
What went really well?
What obstacles did you face?
How could you have prepared more?
What did you learn?
How will you do it differently next time?
How does this fit into your portfolio?
How does this fit into your goals?
What did you enjoy / not enjoy about the process?
What’s your best image/feature and why?
And some key areas to focus on may be…
Interaction with people (models, clients etc.)
Lighting and equipment
Tones & colour
Concept, message & storytelling
Movement and emotion
Okay…. so do I need to do this every time?
You can do it as much or as little as you want. Personally I’m doing it for almost everything I shoot at the moment because I’m very much young in the world of photography and I want to learn and grow as much as I can. Sometimes I group a few similar shoots together, sometimes I focus on just one image.
What do I need?
You pretty much have three options: physically journalling in a notebook, finding a way to do it digitally or a mixture of the two.
Personally I use my bullet journal to work out what it is I want to get out of the shoot, to explore new ideas and get things down on a page. I then write the actual review after the shoot on Google Docs on my photography account so that it’s all there together backed up and always accessible.
Taking some time to review your own photography is a skill that I think is really helpful in advancing as a photographer. Of course, everyone is different. Some people may prefer to write this down, some may find talking it over with another person is more helpful or even just having a think about it while you’re in the shower.
If you review your work I would love to see, please feel free to link me in the comments, send me message or tag me on instagram if you’d like to share it with me. Journalling and bullet journalling are both things I bloody well adore, so I’m always up for seeing more.
Have a great day,
Jasmine Aurora xo