The Importance of Practice

The Importance of Practice

The Importance of Practice

Intro by Skip Cohen

Between technology and ever-changing consumer trends, photography is a career choice that never eases up on the demand to practice. Being a successful artist, in addition to having a great attitude, listening skills, and an understanding of business and marketing is also about your skill set. It’s about practicing new techniques and styles so you’re always ready for virtually any customer request.

Bob Coates and I have been friends for a lot of years and he’s never without a camera. He’s always building his arsenal of images and working on his skill set. He’s constantly exploring new technique with an attitude of “what if,” which has become one of his trademarks. I wanted to share this post because it’s such a great reminder to keep practicing.

Today photographers have the most creative tools in the history of photography. But, you’re only as helpful as your understanding of how to use them. That means taking the time to practice and experiment, pushing the edge of the envelope beyond your comfort zone!

You’ve got to set aside time to simply play with your gear and keep developing your skill set. Your clients are looking to see what makes you different from your competitors. Keep them happy by staying relevant with a look that’s always cutting edge, while at the same time being able to provide a level of quality that’s tried and true.


By Bob Coates

One of the ways I keep in shape with my photography skills is to practice and try new things on a regular basis. Yesterday I was having an IPA (that’s India Pale Ale for the brew bereft) I quickly photographed the chilled glass of beer and then the bottle before enjoying my libation… By the way, it was quite tasty!

Then, before I went to bed I decided to build a mock-up of a magazine ad for the brew. Here’s what I started with…

IPA beer bottle capture.

Frosted beer glass with a nice head. Images captured with the Lumix GX7 and the 20mm f1.7 lens.

Then it was off to Photoshop with three different textures and the tools to separate the bottle and the glass from the background. Using Layers and Blend Modes some drop shadows and a little VooDoo Magic I came up with this…

IPA ad mock-up.

How have you stretched and practiced your skills lately?? Let me know…

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This article was written by
Bob Coates

Bob Coates is a practicing photographer, artist, Panasonic Lumix Luminary and educator. Bob coaches photographers on business, marketing, photography and Photoshop. His diversity as an artist is legendary with experiences in virtually all major specialties. He regularly teaches/presents at many of the major conventions, but also to small groups around the country. Click on his headshot to visit his Successful-Photographer blog.

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