Figure Out What Type of Photographer You Are
You should try shooting all sorts of stuff – from food to landscapes, from portraits to sports, from products to travel, and everything in between. When you are just starting out, shoot everything. And once you have done that, sit down and figure out what kind of photographer you really want to be and work on that.
The first step is to take a good look at the stuff you’ve been shooting and ask yourself, “Which one of these do I seen to have knack for? Or, Which shots have people told me I have a knack for? Chances are there is something you shot that you particularly felt you had a knack for – you just kind of knew what to do.
Okay, that’s step one (and it might be more than one thing – you might feel like you have a knack for travel, sports and natural light portraits, and that’s okay). The next step is to ask yourself, “Which one of these do I really enjoy shooting?” This is really important, because this is what you should be focusing on. There’s no sense at getting really good at product photography when what you really want to be is a natural light portrait photographer.
But, few photographers, even more experienced ones, really sit down and think this through – they just shoot what comes their way. And while they may wind up being competent at shooting a lot of different things, I’m guessing being competent isn’t your goal (it’s like getting a C+ in class). Finding who you are as a photographer allows you to focus your learning, your energy, and your time in the right direction. When you start to get good at what you really enjoy, this is when the magic happens.