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The single step that can help you improve as a photographerI cannot begin to count the number of times someone has approached me and said something like, “You are living my dream” or “Man, you are so lucky.”

Although I know they mean well, I want to look them straight in the eye and emphatically tell them, “Luck has nothing to do with it!”

Your life is a result of the choices you make, of course—from things like your waistline to your bank account to your relationships. We are all creatures of habit, and the problem is that most people don’t have the life they want because of the habits they maintain daily.

Enter: The Challenge.

In January of 2013, Lori issued a challenge to commit to taking just one photograph a day for 30 days.

Knowing that it takes 21 days to create a new habit, Lori figured that anyone who could be disciplined enough to do this simple task would improve as a photographer.

I accepted the challenge, and, after 30 days, saw a significant improvement in my images. But the real reason for my improvement wasn’t natural talent—it was failure. After the first 30 days, I decided I would take a photo a day for the entire year. At the end of the year, I had taken more than 50,000 images, and most of them were not, shall we say, “Ansel Adams quality.” But some of them turned out to be amazing.

With each bad picture I took, I learned something new and applied it the next time I was out shooting. Slowly, I improved, and I kept shooting regardless of the results. 

As my confidence grew, I started to reach out to see if anyone would be interested in buying my photos. Gradually, a few clients told me they liked my architectural images. Then more people started to see my work, and more people started buying it. I then realized that as my skills improved, so did my income.

It took about a year before I created some sustained momentum in my photography business. However, the entire time I was not focused on the results, I was focused on the process of getting better. Most of all, I expected to have good results because of the daily work habit I had established.

I wanted a different outcome for my future, so I committed to this small change in my daily routine to achieve that outcome—and it has paid off in so many ways.

What change do you need to make in order to achieve your dreams? Whatever it is, you can do it! My success with this challenge is proof of that.

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