10,000 or 20 Hours?



How long does it take to learn photography?

Do you need 10,000 hours to get to expertise as cited by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers? Or is it nearer the 20 hours that Josh Kaufman talks about in his book? Do we need to be an 'expert' to get our best shots on holiday or of the family? Probably not. Do creatives ever feel they are truly 'expert'? Not often -there is always something to experiment and learn - every day! To my mind we can always learn something new everyday. So over the years maybe we will achieve that 10,000 hours.....

Often by getting a better camera there is an expectation that your photos will improve overnight but todays cameras can be daunting to get to grips with and with Auto being really good on the modern camera it is easier to stay using that mode. It takes time and a bit of perseverance to really get to know your camera - just like learning to drive a car or learning a new language!

All of this is right at the forefront of my mind this week as I am preparing for the first of my new Develop Camera Confidence programmes. The structure of the programme is a departure from how I have run workshops in the past. Part of the reason for the change is the number of people I have been in contact with who admitted to learning lots on the day but then failing to put it into practice.

And practice (or playing as I like to think of it) is what helps us consolidate the theory; knowing where the buttons are and what they do does not necessarily mean we use them when quickly seeing an opportunity for a photograph - to start with.

The important thing about practice is that it needs to be done when the results don't matter! Playing for just the fun of it is more creative and more enlightening in my book! It's one of the reasons I usually have a photo challenge on the go at any one point. I need to be playful and practice - as if I needed any excuse to pick up my camera!


My new programme has 18 hours of workshop time built into it with lots of time for playing in between sessions. Aiming to build peoples confidence and have a bit of fun along the way! So definitely nearer the 20 hours than the 10,000 but a start for your adventure with photography!

More details are: Here

Have a great week!


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All images © Sarah Holmes 2020 No reproduction without prior permission.