So…. you got up at a ridiculously early hour, drove bleary eyed to your destination, walked up a steep path, scrambled through thick grasses twisting your ankles in hidden holes while carrying a heavy bag; you then lay on the ground for that special angle, getting wet in the early morning dew – all for that unique, elusive photograph.

Finally, two hours later, you’ve got it! It’s everything you hoped for, it took a lot of effort and you feel good about life.

It’s almost lunchtime when you get back, and what’s just been delivered? Yep, it’s your new macro lens. You rush out into the garden to try it out, and spot some nice flowers, all colourful and bright; you’re ravenous after a long morning in the hills, so they’ll do for a test shot.

Later you chose your very best early morning photograph, it’s a stunner and well worth all the effort; the single macro test shot that took 30 seconds looks pretty nifty too, so you post both on your personal National Geographic web page.

You’ve guessed it: the flower shot got all the likes! Well not all, but it’s nearing treble figures while your early morning shot is struggling much further down the scale. So what happened??

Several points here:

- 'Likes’ are not a measure of your talent; for example, any sunset photograph, however technically unsound, will get many ‘likes’ because it tends to trigger an emotional response in people

- Don’t judge your photographs through other people’s eyes. Your vision is unique, as is theirs; occasionally they are similar, and that’s when people love what you do

- Passion and technical know-how are what make your shots stand out; set yourself challenges, but never compromise on what you love

- Be true to yourself; if you are asked to shoot something you’re not comfortable with, it may turn out to be the best thing you’ve ever done because it extends your knowledge base - but if you’ve tried it and still hate it simply say ‘no’ next time

- Never stop gathering knowledge about your art from books, the internet and other photographers; one of the most satisfying things about photography is that, however talented you may be, there is no end to what can be learnt


Think positive! Was getting up before sunrise really so bad or did it create lasting memories that you'll enjoy going back to? Your photographs reflect how you feel - in the end it's all about the emotional response, both yours and the viewers'...