4 Ways Imperfect Photos Push Your Photography Learning

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Embracing Imperfect Photos

Imperfect Photos

Today, let’s explore the idea of embracing imperfection in photography and how those imperfect photos can help you learn and grow as a photographer.

In a world where Instagram feeds are filled with flawless, meticulously edited photos, it’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of perfection. But here’s the thing: sometimes, imperfect photos are the ones that capture the best memories and help to create the best moments to learn more about photography. Those imperfect photos can push your learning and growth as a photographer.

Think about it: what do you do when you snap a photo, and it doesn’t turn out quite how you envisioned? You could delete it and move on, or you could take a closer look and see what went wrong. 

The exposure may be off, the composition may be incorrect, or the focus may be soft. Whatever the case, those imperfections are valuable learning opportunities in disguise.

Now, let’s talk about why imperfect photos are a great learning opportunity.

4 Ways Imperfect Photos Push Your Photography Learning

They force you to problem-solve

Imperfect photos challenge you to think on your feet and problem-solve in real time.

Maybe you need to adjust your camera settings, change your perspective and composition, or wait for better lighting. Maybe you look back at the photo and realize where you could place your subject to capture great composition and amazing light.

Troubleshooting these issues on the fly will make you a more adaptable and resourceful photographer. You’ll find yourself experimenting with different camera settings, adjusting your shooting angle, or waiting for better lighting conditions—all in an effort to overcome the obstacles and capture the shot you envision.

These troubleshooting moments in the field teach you to think on your feet and, in turn, become a better photographer.

They encourage experimentation

Imperfect photos push you out of your comfort zone and encourage you to experiment with different techniques, angles, and compositions. Instead of playing it safe and sticking to what you know, you’ll start to take risks and try new things, expanding your creative horizons in the process.

You may experiment with long exposures to capture motion blur or play around with unconventional framing to create a more dynamic composition.

By embracing imperfection, you open yourself up to a world of creative possibilities and discover new ways to express yourself through your photography.

They teach you to embrace failure

Imperfect photos teach you to embrace failure. They remind you that failure is inevitable and essential for the growth and evolution of your photography.

Every blurry shot, overexposed image, or missed opportunity is a chance to learn and improve. Instead of viewing failure as a setback, see it as a valuable stepping stone on the path to success.

Embrace the mistakes, learn from them, evaluate what you can do the next time to improve the photo and use them to fuel your progress as a photographer.

Every artist, athlete and successful person made mistakes to get where they are today; it’s about using those mistakes as learning tools to improve.

Imperfect photos are real

Imperfect photos have a raw, authentic quality that perfectly polished images often lack. They capture the messiness, spontaneity, and imperfections of real life in a relatable and compelling way.

When you embrace imperfection in your photography, you’re embracing the beauty of authenticity. Think photojournalist images. They aren’t perfect and posed. They are capturing moments as they unfold without pretence or deception, and these authentic moments have the power to resonate deeply with viewers, evoking emotion and connection in ways that perfectly staged photos simply can’t replicate.

Even an out-of-focus image can create a moving moment if it touches the viewer’s emotions.

So the next time you snap a photo that’s not perfect, don’t delete it. Instead, see it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and advance your photography skills. Look at the photo and think about what you could do differently, not from the point of view of good or bad.

Embrace imperfection, celebrate your photographic journey, and remember that the best photos are often the ones that tell a story and evoke emotion, flaws and all.

Lifestyle Photographer & Mentor

Hi, I’m Dena, a natural light lifestyle photographer with 20+ years of experience capturing other people’s memories and teaching photographers how to understand and easily use their cameras.

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