….that while I’ve been taking pictures of dogs and cats for almost 10 years and make my living as a photographer, I still have frequent, plentiful, sometimes overwhelming insecurities about my work.
I am my own worst critic, finding fault in even the best images.
Where a client is delighted, I am frustrated.
I worry I am getting stale. And producing the same images with every shoot. The same ‘boring’ images.
I focus, every time, on the faults of an image, not the strengths.
I think I don’t have a very creative eye, and envy those who do. It’s nearly impossible for me to ‘create’ a scene in my head. I’m great at working with what’s given to me, but to create it from scratch is another matter.
Even when I get emails from clients that start like this: “Oh my god I love them so much!! Awesome!!”, often it goes right over my head and all I can think of is “I could have done better”.
And sometimes, after some sessions, I really truly feel that I just downright suck. And wonder why in the world anyone would want to hire me, let alone pay me money for products. I think “Jeez, I’m such a fraud! I’m NOT a good photographer, I’m AWFUL!!”.
Now this isn’t to say that I don’t give myself credit from time to time. I do feel proud of myself in ‘general’ terms and usually know when I really nailed a shot.
I know I should give myself more credit for good composition and moderately decent exposure, considering I still don’t fully understand the relationship between ISO + aperture + shutter speed + metering type. (That may be the crux of my problems right there). You’d think that after over 7 years of photographing dogs and cats professionally I’d have all of this stuff figured out! But nooooooo….
I probably should pat myself on the back for making a living at something that I never formally studied and ‘figuring it all out’ the hard way.
But ultimately I just want to be better. A LOT better. I know I have great (GREAT) room for improvement. I suspect it will take me another 10 years of shooting to be satisfied with my own work.
I want to strive to improve on what I have, and continue to be more and more pleased with the results. To not just knock my client’s socks off, but knock my own socks off as well. I’m not there yet, but I really hope to be one day.
I wanted to express these self-doubts because I hoped that by sharing my own insecurities it will help others reading this blog to realize that everyone has them, including me.
I believe these insecurities of ‘not being good enough’ are a common condition of man and something that all humans struggle to overcome, and it is when we share these vulnerabilities with each other that we become bonded together as a whole, and realize “I am not alone”.
Now, I’m off to read my photography books and play around with the custom settings on my camera in an effort to make a teensy bit of a difference in my next session.
Until next time, remember, you are better than you think you are, worse than you’d like to be, but plenty good enough for everyone else.