I have recently participated in three Instagram food photography challenges and I noticed a great development on my food photography. So, I decided to share here how to improve your photography with an Instagram challenge. Why your photography will improve? What aspects from an Instagram challenge will enable you to improve your skills? What else can you get from participating on a challenge?
I talked a lot about the Food Photography challenges in the newsletter, so, if you wanna join the conversation and be part of the vip group, make sure to sign up:
I joined the #eatcaptureshare Winter Food Photography Instagram challenge organised by Kimberly from The Little Plantation; the #getminimal challenge organised by Rachel from Two Loves Studio and a Macro Photography challenge organised by Rachel from TwoLovesStudio en Lauren Caris from That’s Sage.
The #getminimal and #shootmacro challenges ran each one for a week, and the #eatcaptureshare ran for a month.
Let’s talk about how the challenge brought me this development.
1 – Practicing, practicing, practicing
When you participate in the challenge you have to create, use your camera and photograph. And doing is the best way for learning.
Each challenge is different, but if you want to take the opportunity to grow your skills, create work for the challenge.
You have the opportunity to practice from start to finish, from planning to execution, and you will grow on all levels.
2 – You get themes that challenge your creativity pushing you beyond your comfort zone
One aspect that I love about the #eatcaptureshare challenge is that Kimberly creates themes for each entry in the challenge. So, you have to work with that theme and create something that will match it. This will make you go into subjects or technical aspects from photography that you are not familiar with, challenging yourself and pushing you beyond your comfort zone. This not only is great for growing and development, but also exciting and fun.
The theme will also make you think about it, define what to shoot and plan accordingly.
When shooting professionally for a client, you will have to shoot for the client’s project, and not your own project. So the challenge helps you practice tha. This applies also for sponsored content, where for example, you have to work around a product and plan the photography for that.
3 – You have a schedule, a dead line
Not only you have a theme, but a schedule to follow. The schedule will vary on the challenge, some runs for a week and you can post any day within that period, others will have specific dates for posting.
Work with a deadline and plan to shoot and delivery the photo on a specific date and time, is also another great exercise. I had to do this and for the #eatcaptureshare challenge I developed a workflow throughout one month so I could publish on time. In the end, I had all 12 photos published on time for the challenge. This improved my workflow as a professional photographer.
When you do work for a client you have deadlines, the challenge allows you to practise this.
4 – You face frustration and learn from it
Not all entries I published was a successful photo for me. I faced frustration in the process and with the final photo. I failed in achieve what I wanted. And this was also an amazing learning. Because at some time you will face frustration in your photography journey, and what you will do about it?
Cry and stop? Or learn and move forward stronger than before? I chose the second option. It was not easy, but I published a photo I was not happy with and shared my fail and frustration on Instagram. This was a learning I will carry with me forever and this contributed to my growth as a photographer.
INSTAGRAM POST where I shared the frustration I faced with this photo.
View this post on Instagram
5 – Connecting with other photographers
A challenge is also a great opportunity for networking and connecting with other photographers and creators. You can see what others are creating for the challenge and you can connect with them. Through this connections:
- you learn from other photographers / creators
- you get inspired by their work
- you discover new people whose work you enjoy
- you connect and interact with fellow photographers
Instagram is a social platform and a challenge is a great opportunity to get social. 😉
6 – Plus, you have work to add to your portfolio
You are creating photos for the challenge and you might end up with photos you are really happy with and that you can add to your portfolio. Through the challenges I indeed increased my Food photography portfolio.
You might also have photos for content in your blog. I will be sharing some recipes from the photos I published on Instagram for the challenge, here on my blog.
More challenges to come
Joining and participating on an Instagram challenge helps with your photography growth and development and is also a lot of fun. I recently joined a Macro Photography challenge organised by Rachel from TwoLovesStudio en Lauren Caris from That’s Sage; and I will soon be joining the Spring Food Photography challenge from The Little Plantation.
As I said before, I will be sharing some recipes I cooked for the Winter challenge here in the blog and I will be talking about the Spring challenge soon in the newsletter. Subscribe to the VIP newsletter group and don’t miss it. 🙂