I’m sure all photographers (or anyone really) feel this way at one point or another in their career… it’s a really crappy place to be mental wise. That feeling of not being good enough. That feeling of no matter how much you improve… you’re still not good enough. I’ve been dealing with this lately and sometimes you just feel inadequate.
For me, I think I feel the most inadequate when I have a friend who always tell me how much they love my photography and then, all of a sudden, they get photos done by someone else. It does seriously make me feel bad. Should it? Probably not, but it does. I think what hurts the most is when someone will tell you how much they love your work only to choose someone else in the end. Like, what was it that made you love my work so much, but then go with someone else?
A lot of people say they don’t mix business and pleasure and I think that is okay, but at the same time… no one can capture your images like a FRIEND. Someone who knows you, who will be able to get the full potential out of you in a session, and someone you’re comfortable with.
Maybe I’m being too sensitive? I just feel like sometimes people don’t take me seriously. They think that just because I have a full-time regular job, that I’m not a photographer. Since I don’t have my own store front business, that I’m not serious.
I had someone ask me why I was wasting my time and talent by working other jobs. It’s not that easy. I can’t just quit my full-time job in hopes I make it. Not that I don’t believe I will, but I have to be real here. I need to pay bills. I’m spending a good chunk of my personal income on trying to make my dreams come true. Whatever way that may be. I don’t have mommy and daddy handing me money or some super rich boyfriend who I mooch off of. I do everything myself. Do I wish I could get paid for my work? YES. Yes, I do.
I, 100%, want people to believe in me as much as I believe in myself and to see my work as valuable and invest. I want people to be able to understand all the hard work and dedication I put into every little thing I do. It can be really disheartening at times when people just don’t have faith in you.
Another thing that is really discouraging is when people ask me what I do I reply with “I’m a photographer.” Typically I’ll say “I do conceptual photography for galleries”. Like that somehow even matters to them. Like that makes me sound awesome or something. But instead of getting a positive response, I’ll get something along the lines of “Oh, but what’s your job?”
How about asking me what I’m passionate about? How about asking me what makes me happy and fulfilled as a human being? It’s never about the job. Typically, no one is happy at their “job”.
I did a test one day. I asked someone what they do for work. They responded with a boring “I work as an accountant.” His eyes were dull, no smile, and just answered the question politely. Then, I said, “Okay, but what are you passionate about?” Instantly his entire aura changed. His eyes sparkled, face glowed, he has a huge smile on his face and said, “Being a DJ. I love to make music.”
After experiencing that reaction first hand, I’ve made it my goal to ask people what they’re passionate about. What makes them unique. What makes them the happiest. You’ll be surprised at just how better of a mood you’ll put that person in.
Believe. Take that person seriously. Never knock someone down for their passions or dreams. Work with friends. Collaborate. Uplift. Bring that person so high that they can’t come back down. In the end, what you do say… does matter. You never know what comes out of your mouth may make someone else believe again.
“Your success depends mainly upon what you think of yourself and whether you believe in yourself.” – William J. H. Boetchker