Daily habits are hard to form, especially when those habits have to do with something that might be a hobby. And for those of us who aren’t career photographers, that’s what photography is—a hobby. With work, family, and all the rest of life that we have to tend to, getting a chance to do something photography related each day is difficult if not impossible.
Even so, I think it’s a valuable practice if you can pull it off. Why? Well, this is something we see a lot across all artistic mediums. The most successful artists are often the ones who make time for their art every single day. You’ve probably heard of famous writers who have a daily writing habit. Ernest Hemmingway said,
“When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.”
The same can be said of painters. There are painters, often famous ones, who have made it a daily practice to do a little painting. Whatever the art form is, the creativity and skills involved need to be practiced.
The same is true of photographers—or it should be. Again, I know that we all have other things to tend to in life, so it may not be possible to take pictures or work on editing our backlog each day. But still, there are three good reasons why this is a fantastic habit to form.
The first is the most obvious: Practice makes perfect! Doing something each day, even if only for a little bit, is the best way to keep practicing and keep getting better.
Secondly, daily practice keeps you sharp and creative. In fact, you can think of creativity as a muscle that requires exercise just as your body does. If you go long spans without creating, the act of creation becomes harder. It becomes more difficult to see good photographic opportunities or to generate ideas for projects that you’d like to explore.
And the third reason why photography is best as a daily habit? Because it increases your odds of making something truly amazing. It’s just the same as the old trope about the room full of monkeys eventually reproducing the works of Shakespeare. Not to say that we’re all a bunch of monkeys tapping blindly at our shutter releases, but there is truth in the idea that the more you produce, the greater the likelihood that you’ll produce something incredible. So produce as much as you can, and do it when you can. Daily if you can manage it, or as often as possible if there’s not room for photography every day. Keep those skills sharp and keep learning new things. It’s tenacity that matters most, I think. Push yourself to do what you can when you can and along the way, you’ll make many memorable photographs.