All too often we're told to, 'know your strengths; but develop your weaknesses'. Whilst I appreciate that we should develop our 'weaker' attributes, it's also important for personal and artistic growth that we know our strengths and keep them honed through frequent use. So many of us wander sub-consciously through our day-to-day lives (and photography) not really giving any conscious thought to what strengths we possess and how we can bring them to bear on our personal development and growth as artists using the medium of light (i.e. photographers).
"Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?"
~ Benjamin Franklin
There's a dedicated field of psychology known as 'Strengths Psychology', developed by Don Clifton which studies this fascinating area of the human psyche. In my opinion, it's worth your while as a photographer (and a human being) to know a little on this subject and to familiarise yourself with this school of thought. Personally, I'm continually striving to grow and excel as a photographer (as well as a person) and I believe knowing my strengths - as well as my weaknesses - is important in this endeavour.
In order to understand my strengths more fully, I purchased 'Strengths Finder 2.0'. If you're not already familiar with this marvellous and enlightening little book, it's written by Tom Rath (published by Gallup Press) and seeks, with the aid of a personal, on-line, assessment to identify and describe your particular fundamental strength attributes.
For me the results were illuminating:-
(The top 5 themes - a.k.a. signature themes - are ranked high-to-low based on the preponderance of your personal talents.)
The book not only describes the strength attribute in detail, it also suggests ideas for action to help you identify opportunities to apply and hone each talent further. I don't intend on detailing how I plan to develop my photography based on my survey results ~ this would be much too wordy and of relevance only to me and therefore of no real value nor interest (I assume) to you in this article. I have, however, provided off-site descriptions on each of the themes relating to me - if you're interested in reading them.
So, I'll leave it with you: What are you strengths as a photographer? Not sure? Why not find out?
"I think self-knowledge is the rarest trait in a human being."
~ Elizabeth Edwards