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April 21, 2018
This world can be filled with doubt and negativity, by things like your own self talk or maybe by others attitudes towards us – especially when you’re a photographer, by putting yourself and your images out there, it can leave you a bit vulnerable to be seen and critiqued by all.
Unfortunately, it took me a long time to realize that not everyone is going to like me, sometimes for no reason at all. Maybe your work is improving or you may get recognition in your community or on social media or simply because people form an opinion of you by someone else who is busy gossiping about you to others in the industry....but thats ok because not one of us like every single person we know, meet or hear of! I’ve spent a lot of time during my photography career getting upset and feeling confused by other people’s actions
I had to learn to try and not allow this to overcome me. When I concentrate on the things that I am passionate about, I gain confidence. That’s why I work primarily with feminine portraiture & conceptual photography. It captured my imagination from the start and has never let go. This is one of the main reasons I am working on a brand new online course, teaching fine art feminine portraiture.
All my life I have loved many forms of art, and it was always my highest graded subject in school. As a result, I choose work that aligns with my heart and soul. It is the only way to be fulfilled at the end of each day. My work hardly feels like work when I am passionate about it!
Better still, because my passion is my work, my commitment to my goals for myself as a photographer and for my photography business is renewed each and every day when I start work and focus on my goals, therefore, they are more easily achieved because I constantly work towards them.
Passion projects give me a sense of excitement. Each time I grab a camera for a photo shoot with a client or planning a creative, It makes me feel happy and allows me to be the creative that I am. Hours pass by without me knowing because of how fulfilling my work is for me. Reminding me that I have the potential to continue to learn and grow and do great things for my clients and team from behind the lens.
When I am able to smile at the end of the workday, I know that I am doing something that is right for me. That smile comes from the inside out. It is soul deep.
Knowing that my work makes an impact on someone else’s life or creates inspiration for their own photography is essential as well. I believe that the only work for me is the type that makes people feel good, that makes them stop and look and experience an emotion, a feeling, or a sense of wonder.
Building your professional life should start with identifying that which you are most passionate about. Whether that’s macro photography, pet photography, architectural photography, landscapes, portraits, or something in between, really think about what it is that you love to photograph, and build your career around it.
That doesn’t mean that you have to pursue just one type of photography, either. You can be a portrait photographer and a product photographer and be great at both if you’re passionate about them and use that passion to develop the skills necessary to be a great photographer.
If you are filled with doubts and constantly wonder “How in the world can I make it as a photographer?” you might want to give these questions some consideration:
Remember, the first step is to identify what your passions are so that you can use them to lay out a roadmap for your success.
Then, think about how you feel when people doubt your abilities with a camera. Consider why they might have their doubts, and whether those doubts are based on fact or fiction. As an example sometimes loved ones express doubt not because they don’t think that you can be a great photographer, but because they just don’t want to see you get hurt or be disappointed should things go awry.
Lastly, after you’ve outlined how your passion for photography can help you achieve your goals and considered how to overcome the doubts of others (and your own doubts, for that matter), it’s time to think about the process of pursuing your dream of being a photographer.
For some people, it’s an easier switch, like young, single students that have just graduated from college, for example. On the other hand, if you’re a little older and have a mortgage to pay and kids to feed, leaving your old job behind to pursue a new career can be a bit more frightening to pursue.
However, if you plan well, make smart investments with your time, focus on what you want, you can push the doubts to the background and focus solely on making a success of being a photographer. There are many factors at play in the pursuit of your dreams, but if you’re motivated enough there’s not much that can stop you!
November 11, 2018
Hi Amanda – thank you for this and for other articles. Wow – well I have been at this game for a while now but can’t seem to get rolling..stop start all the time. Some good work alot of bad. I am trying to focus in on specific areas rather than jack of all trades. How do you “make it happen”? I believe I have the skills. I regret the loss of film. I work with digital but prefer the concentration of film. I think I’m too old fashioned most of the time but then I get a good session going and it all goes right and i’m happy but still loosing money all the time. Should I dump film and concentrate solely on digital and how do I break into more continuous work? Thanks Justin
Great to read as this is my life at present & self doubt shows up daily….put I know I’m on the right passionate path! Thanks x
April 26, 2018
Thanks Amanda for a great article. You are so right about following our passion. When I get off track I lose my enthusiasm, especially during our long Canadian winters. Then spring arrives, flowers bloom and my passion comes running back inside me and it shows in my work. Now I want more hours in the day to get it all done. Life is good.
April 24, 2018
I am going through this hard right now. I keep comparing my work to everyones. I used to be so much more confident. But as the years progressed I gotten very critical and editing takes me forever because I want it all so perfect. Last night I was in the mode of why do I do this. I do it because I love it and I need to get out of this rut. Perfect timing for article.
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November 11, 2018
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