According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Curiosity is: “an eager wish to know or learn about something”. So let’s talk about curiosity and growth mindset!
Do you remember when you first started your photography journey and you just purchased your new camera? If you were like me, you were excited to know everything, and approached it all with curiosity. I would sit there for hours looking at all of the buttons on the camera and learning all of the ends and outs of my new purchase.
I then started taking pictures of just about everything and I loved every image. There was no thought given to composition, focus, light, or any of that. If it was a picture of my cat, I was thrilled. I stopped by the side of the road when I saw sheep grazing. I bought flowers and took pictures of them. Everything sparked my curiosity.
What was your next step? My next step was to download Lightroom and play with my images and all of the lovely sliders. For some reason I thought colors out of gamut and soft focus was a good thing
These images were taken at the beginning of my journey. At the time, I thought they were great.
I started investing a lot of time learning and started taking photography courses. Which class? All of them. What genre? Every single one.
It wasn’t long before I found photography groups online. It also wasn’t long before I noticed I needed, uh … improvement.
By investing time, a person will begin to narrow their field of interest and grow as an artist. Curiosity will keep you going and a growth mindset will keep you on course.
“It is the belief that a person’s capabilities and talents can be improved over time.” (Psychology Today)
There is always room for growth. Growth can require a lot of work on your part, and a willingness to hear from others. My friends and family always loved my images, but they did not look at them the same way a seasoned photographer would. When I first asked for constructive criticism, it was a bit difficult. However, if you remain curious and have a growth mindset it can be so very helpful.
The following is an image that was in my portfolio. I loved this image, but it was not the best choice. Do you notice what needs to be improved in this image? I didn’t notice it at the time, until it was pointed out. The composition of this image is a little off. Now I cannot unsee it! It is always helpful to get a second pair of eyes on your images.
When you start to ask for constructive criticism you will get feedback on your images and suggested areas for improvement. Some people have commented that they get stuck on the feedback that isn’t all “rave reviews”. Personally, I think it is a valuable step leading you to growth.
I still approach my photography with curiosity. How can I become better; how can I grow? My current images make me happy, but who knows? Two years later I will probably look back on these images as well and think, “Oh, these were nice, but my newer images are better!”
Stay curious – a beginners mind – and know that as artists we are always growing.