Friday, June 25, 2010

Giving myself some Credit...




... As I embark on this journey into photographing others, and selling prints, I am struggling to keep up any amount of confidence...

In my mind I am calling myself... a joke, a fraud, an idiot...
I am saying things to myself like, who would want you to take photos of their kids, you can't talk in front of people, you aren't creative enough and YOU are going to charge... who do you think you are...

why is this so hard. some people jump right into this, but I am terrified, and not just of what others might say but of the huge possibility of failure.

I know that what I am doing is so low key... but to me, this is huge.

so

I guess I thought I needed to take the time to give myself credit for how far I HAVE come... and to remind you to do the same.

I started out, 2 years ago, liking to take pictures... but not knowing anything about it. I took pictures of my kids mostly... and didn't pay any attention to the sun or to the color casts around us. I didn't think about depth of field or that a flash makes a photo look flat. I didn't even know what photoshop was and I had NO grasp of what it meant to get sun flare or ambient light. I didn't see the point in photographing anything but people, and I thought the only way to get a 'good' shot was to do so on a background in a studio set up.

wrong.

Fast forward to today and I have grasped the concept of shooting with the sun to your back, using fill flash when necessary, finding a shady spot to shoot your subjects and keeping your ISO as low as possible to avoid grain. I know the basic idea behind catching sunflare and I enjoy indulging in it often. I think about DOF constantly. And my camera is always just an arms length away.
I have a basic knowledge of PS and LR and I know the elements of a photo to enhance and what to minimize. I know the best angle to shoot children at and I appreciate still life photography.
I see a 'good' shot, as one that is natural, whimsical and real... but technically sound. I know that editing can overwhelm a photo and that it's all about the eyes... and NOT overdoing it.
I see bokeh all around me and see shots before they are taken. I am getting more good shots than bad and my focus is getting better daily.

Now... it sounds like I just got a bit carried away... but there is a whole bevy of things that I still need to learn and even more that I need to keep practicing. I know that the "people skills" will come in time and that my portfolio will grow if I just let myself take jobs.
I am not the best... and truthfully, I NEVER will be... but if I don't believe in my potential, how in the world can I expect anyone else too.

I can tell this will be a struggle for me, but I am so excited...
I have a newborn shoot tomorrow, a birthday party I'm shooting Sunday and a 3 year old on Monday and if I am not mistaken a 2 year old and 7 year old on Thursday... not all of these will earn me money (since they are friends and family) but the experience will be good!

Wish me Luck.

24 comments:

Jaime C Mitchell on June 25, 2010 at 9:17 AM said...

Hi there... I dont even remember how I came across your blog but as a fellow photographer I have been following it for sometime now. I just wanted to encourage you... i dont even know you and yet I read and enjoy your blog post! I think that your photography is beautiful and that you ARE very talented! I'm proud of the skills you have picked up in only a year or two! Way to put passion into action and be courageous (Even when you dont feel courageous!)! Good luck on your upcoming shoots. I choose not to do photography as a living (my ridiculous fear of losing my love for it by making it a "job") but I do often get paid and I also have done hundreds of free jobs. I think it's important to always be open to both. You have a talent and should be paid for it but you are never less of a professional if you don't get paid. Being able to bless others by offering them something they may have otherwise not had is a personal payment in full. Be encouraged that you have not made a decision to be "beyond" that and I know you will be blessed with many paying jobs in return. You are GREAT & have every right to be taking pictures, charging people and calling yourself CREATIVE! Good Luck this week!

God Bless YOU!
jaime

Beth Simmons on June 25, 2010 at 9:22 AM said...

I am so excited for you! I know you will do wonderfully at all you attempt to do. I think you will have a blast! Can hardly wait to see your work.

Ashley Sisk on June 25, 2010 at 9:33 AM said...

Please do give yourself a lot of credit. I'm right there with you and struggle with my confidence but you should know that you're a huge inspiration to me and my work has grown simply by reading and watching your work. You are an amazing artist and I wish you all the joy in the world as you allow life to take you on a journey!

-Ashley (http://ashleysisk.blogspot.com)

Erika on June 25, 2010 at 10:02 AM said...

Yeah!! That's so exciting. You can do it & I love that you've given yourself credit. Sometimes we love what we do so much that we begin to think it's easy. That anyone can do it. But that's wrong. Not just anyone can take a beautiful picture. You can & do!

Corinne on June 25, 2010 at 10:22 AM said...

Good luck :)
YOU are amazing. It's incredible that you got past your inhibitions and wrote what you are good at, what you know you CAN do. That's such a powerful thing. Focus on the positives :) and know that you're an amazing photographer!

Laura on June 25, 2010 at 10:29 AM said...

I am new to my business as well; I am in my first year and have my first of many upcoming weddings in the next week.

While I am often amazed where I am today, I do have times of feeling inadequate and like I'm a big phony for trying to compete with the 'big guns.' I let myself second guess my talent when I do too much blog surfing and comparing to other photographers who have been in business for a long time. That's deadly to my self esteem and to my creativity.

I think it's so wonderful that you're taking the leap into photography and will continue to tune in and watch as you grow.

God bless you and your journey!

Laura

Mrs. Muffins on June 25, 2010 at 10:54 AM said...

I jumped on the photography bandwagon this year. I'm proud that I've learned so much but just starting out, I have sooo, so much to learn. I can't imagine being to the point you are but you inspire me. Enjoy your photoshoots <3
xx

Feather on June 25, 2010 at 12:08 PM said...

YOU can do it! you have talent, just jump!

Amber Rosie on June 25, 2010 at 1:42 PM said...

Good Luck, you should give yourself way more credit!

Beverly on June 25, 2010 at 2:30 PM said...

Oh Johnna, you are a wonderful photographer. I admire all you do. You will do a great job and all the rest will come in time.

Feather on June 25, 2010 at 3:21 PM said...

hello, again.
i thought i posted a comment this morning? i think it said something like,
YOU.can.do it! just jump!

i'm linking to you on my blog today...i've enjoyed getting to know you over here on your blog.

Leslie on June 25, 2010 at 6:21 PM said...

Sometimes it is scary, and I am slightly nervous before every session I do. Afraid that it is going to come out badly and almost everytime I amaze myself just a little and learn tons. I am no where near what I want to be in photography but each session helps me to get a little closer. When I am feeling doubtful I offer free sessions just to practice. Its so easy to do with our own children so sometimes we just need that extra challenge and the benefit of doing those freebies is you gain that positive promoting by word of mouth. I absolutely love your portraits and if we lived closer I would def hire you because I havent found a photographer around here that can give me that creative flare I would so love in some family photos of my own. Good luck and keep your head up, determination, drive and passion will take you a long way!

keli @ kidnapped by suburbia on June 25, 2010 at 6:37 PM said...

SO excited for you!!! i just love seeing all of my friends jumping feet-first into professional photography. i am cheering for you on the sidelines! :)

adia on June 25, 2010 at 8:46 PM said...

good luck!! you sounds *a lot* like me :o)

Michelle on June 25, 2010 at 8:59 PM said...

I think everyone has those days where they question just who we think we are trying to do something. I know I have (why on earth do I think I need a dslr - no kids, not doing this as a "job", who would want to look at my stuff??? or ask me to take their family/wedding shots??).

I enjoy hanging around your blog and flickr and being encouraged and inspired by you. You do have talent - God gave you the ability to learn and see things though a camera - and you're building on that talent! Like several of the others said - you can be a blessing to others - and have been - with your photography.

We can't always be down on ourselves and do have to remind ourselves just how much we have learned/grown/experienced and that we are capable!

Blessings!
~Michelle

Michelle on June 25, 2010 at 9:05 PM said...

Oh- I forgot to say...

Good luck and have fun!! Let go and let yourself enjoy it!

(I have to remember to remind myself of that quite a bit, too!)

wendi said...

I just stumbled across your blog a couple of weeks ago and I love it! I'm a stay at home mom who is just starting a photography business so I completely related to this post!! I just want to offer some encouragement to you by saying that your work is AMAZING!! Your colors, light, everything it's just beautiful!! Keep up the excellent work and I have no doubt you will succeed!!

Angela on June 26, 2010 at 10:33 AM said...

I think your work is incredible! I can relate to how you feel. I am actually a clinical therapist, but do photography to relax. It has become a little business just because I had people approaching me to do photos for them after seeing others I'd done. I find myself feeling like a fraud quite frequently!
Your work has been an inspiration to me and I think you are very talented. Best of luck to you!

Teresa on June 26, 2010 at 11:40 AM said...

Johnna..you are incredibly talented! I am constantly inspired by your work! I believe you have a gift for photography..and I am glad you are giving yourself some credit..but really you need to give yourself even more. I certainly struggle with the same things you do..but I'm not really doing real photoshoots yet. You rock..and you will rock this newborn shoot!

Melissa on June 26, 2010 at 5:55 PM said...

What a tender hearted post, I can feel your emotions through your words...thank you for being so transparent...you truly have an amazing talent, a true gift from God ya know...and really, if he has blessed you with this wonderful skill, why not give it your all?!!!

krissilugbill on June 26, 2010 at 11:32 PM said...

wow, what a lovely and honest post! you do need to give yourself credit for how far you have come! your photographs are beautiful! you are an artist & photographer and you are great at it! i am just now starting off on the journey. I am at the place where i am realizing that i love to take photos and would like to do something more with it and learn as much as i can! so reading this, well, it just inspires me...so thank you! and you should feel very confident in your work..it is beautiful!

newtruthphotography on July 2, 2010 at 4:02 PM said...

I too know a lot of people who just jump in and because they know the people they photograph, they think they know everything. Your right, its learning! I have been taking pictures for years now too and have just started taking them for other people. I have noticed the more I do the better I get. I feel the same way, Im actually afraid of what will happen if I actually hand out business cards. Im always learning and reading and educating myself so as to be a better photographer. I wish you the best of luck and you already have that 1 real test of success, TALENT..real natural TALENT! you have that and your going to do great!

Naomi on July 5, 2010 at 3:27 PM said...

Hello! I came across your blog--can't remember where but I must say I love it. I read this on a day that I really needed it! And it is inspiring. I have recently started out on this photography journey and sometimes feel quite overwhelmed. There is SO much to learn. And sometimes I feel inadequate too....like I'll never be good enough. Thank your for admitting you have your doubts too. It's nice to know I'm not the only one! I just have to remind myself that this is a journey and I should enjoy every moment! I love your photos and can't wait to see more!

Linda Jackman on July 9, 2010 at 2:57 PM said...

Johnna, I have been photographing for years and still struggle as you do. I would never say those things to you, that you said to yourself, but I have said them to myself. If we could only treat ourself the way we treat others. I do believe we need to push ourself to grow, but not push ourself to the point of breaking our confidence. Your an amazing artist... don't let you tell you any different :)
PS~ who said you will never be the best? All of these sweet people in the comments seem to think your pretty darn good... including me.

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