Not Taking the Time to Develop Your Photos: A Trap to Avoid

Road to Valley of Fire in Nevada. Photograph by Amar Guillen, photographer artist.
Road to Valley of Fire in Nevada.

Trap #7: Not Thinking of Long-Term Effects

Creating interesting photographs that make sense and appeal to an audience take a lot of time, persistence, consistency, and pugnacity.

Beginners sometimes manage in a few months or a year to create eye-catching photos that catch the eye. But I have found that they are usually forgotten as quickly as they appear. Moreover, most of them do not manage to regenerate themselves.

Why? The reason is simple. They did not think that photography is a difficult and time-consuming creative activity. It is not a “one and done deal”. You must continue to invest time into your personal growth in the art of photography.

You should always keep in mind that it is necessary to define:

  • A photographic why.
  • A photographic artistry.
  • A photographic body of work.
  • A photographic portfolio.

These elements are essential to last over time.

I often use the expression "give it time". It is the only way to improve, to enrich yourself, to live new experiences that will enrich your photos.

This precious time that we always run after, will allow you to tell photographic stories that will make your photos unique. They will be different because they will look like you. And you are irreplaceable.

The advice I would like to give you is to avoid this trap which so many photographers fall into. They fail to think of the long-term effects of their continual investment of time into their art.

Think in years. Take the time to create.


Trap #8: Not Defining a Precise Goal

If you want to create interesting photos that will hold the attention of a circle of people who wish to follow you, you must, in addition to your photographic why, define a photographic goal.

This goal will be the basis of all the photo projects you will carry out.

For example, your photographic goal may be to photograph all the species of deer on the planet.

Another idea of a personal goal would be to photograph all the forests in black and white. Or you may wish to photograph all the crustaceans in the world's seas.

The number of photographic purposes one could have is unlimited. Only your imagination is your limit. Your photographic goal must correspond to what you feel deep down inside. It will define your work.

If you do not define a precise goal, you will get lost in the meanders of photography.

You will navigate from one project to another without having a precise direction. You will have difficulty concentrating and attracting the attention of an audience.

I am not referring to a specific field here. It is common to have many interests in the field of photography. However, I want to emphasize that when you begin a project, you should continue in one direction until you are satisfied. Do not lose sight of your destination.

Defining a specific photographic goal will allow you to define objectives that will mark out the path you take.


Trap #9: Not Processing Your Photos

Today, the technological capabilities of cameras mean that virtually everyone can achieve sharp and high-quality photos.

The technical level of photographers has reached such a high level since the advent of digital technology that the competition has become extraordinarily strong. Thousands of photographers are able to make beautiful pictures because they are skilled and erudite in many photographic themes.

You are going to ask me how to stand out from the rest. On the one hand you have to develop an extraordinarily strong photographic why and photographic approach. But that is not enough.

You need to master photographic development or processing. It is an essential condition.

During my photography workshops, I often repeat that the purpose of development is to strengthen the photographic process.

The development of your photos allows you to refine your photographic signature.

Yet few photographers take the time to develop their photos properly. They often content themselves with:

  • Cropping.
  • Improving sharpness.
  • Handling digital noise.
  • Adjusting the contrasts.
  • Saturating certain colors..

However, developing a photo is much more than these basic operations.

A good development should lead you to create photos that look like you.

If you are just creating photos that look like the work of other artists, consider asking yourself whether you truly know what is unique about you.

The advice I can give you is to learn how to manage the development of your photos to avoid the trap of déjà vu in repetitive works.

Be demanding with yourself. Develop fewer photos but develop them well.


Trap # 10: Not Striving for Excellence

The last trap you need to avoid when create eye-catching photos is to be satisfied with the easiest one.

This trap consists in being satisfied with the bare minimum during the creation of your photos without elevating your gaze to true excellence.

I always say: "it is impossible to achieve excellence in photography, but it is possible to get close to it".

Why? Because the search for excellence will save you time. You must do everything possible to ensure that your photographic goals are as precise as possible.

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Your field shots must be the best possible. Your development must be as accurate and sought after as possible.

To get closer to photographic excellence, you must always proceed by successive strokes. This is what I also call the repetitive process. The creative process is long. It is made of tests and approximations. That is why you must have experience and invest extensive practice.

You do not “fake” yourself into being a photographer: you become one.

My advice for avoiding this trap is to be careful when you create photos.

Be demanding with yourself. Do not settle for little. The more you strive for excellence, the more you will assert your photographic personality. The stronger your photographic identity will be.



I hope that this article has helped you to know and understand the 10 main pitfalls to avoid when creating interesting and meaningful photos that resemble who you are.

Keep in mind that you must be demanding when defining:

  • Your photographic why.
  • Your artistic approach.
  • Your developmental processes.

Do not just think about technique.

The more you strive for excellence, the more you will avoid the impostor syndrome.

Do not forget to show your photos at every opportunity.

Invest time in your goals.

Be humble, patient, constant, persevering, and persistent because the road to excellence is long.

I Want to Help You to Create Interesting Photos