Tuesday, 17 December 2013
I am a photographer
Back when Nick was sick and I was encouraged to pursue my love of photography as a profession I was skeptical about my skill level. I felt like I was just playing photographer instead of being a real one. I thought that the more I worked the more confident I would become and eventually the phrase I'm a photographer would be more easily said but here we are two years later and I still struggle with it.
I have loved photography for as long as I can remember, I look back at the pictures that I took when I was young and I can still remember the passion that I felt even back then. When I got my first house even though I didn't have a ton of money the first thing that I bought was a framed piece of art work. Cost my entire months salary but I had to have it. My brothers still make fun of me for spending money on a picture of a cow.
The truth is that my confidence was shaken because I didn't really know the truth about photography. I didn't know that realistically the majority of photographers take more "bad" pictures then "good" during a session and that so many pictures today are digitally altered and enhanced. I would do a shoot and take 100 pictures and end up with 40 that I really liked and I would feel like a failure.... ready to throw in the towel because I felt like a fraud. Little did I know that it is actually common and normal.
I also feel like pictures should be as close to natural as possible so aside from a few mild tweaks here and there my images are very close to SOOC (straight out of camera).
I watch tutorials about editing and I truthfully have no desire to smooth a mothers skin or add brightness to a child's eyes.... I want their beauty to be real not created via my computer.
Recently I reached out to another photographer who's work I adore. Its very different then mine but I see many of her shots and I get goosebumps. She charges an arm and a leg (and a few internal organs) but she must be worth it because she is highly sought after. She is what I think of when I imagine a "photographer".
I sent her a message thanking her. I told her about how there have been a few times where I have considered putting an end to my photography "career" but then I will see something that she posts and my spark is reignited and my passion refreshed. That her talent is something amazing and her skill is something that one could only strive for.
She saw my message and never responded.... not a single word.
I realized that I put someone on a pedestal and created them into something that they are not. I created this kind and amazing soul who also takes great pictures and in reality she didn't even have the manners that god gave a billy goat.
The truth is that I don't have a bachelors of fine arts, I don't often follow the "rules" of photo composition, I have no desire to photoshop the hell out of something real and turn it into something artificial and
I love black and white photography far more then colour most of the time because it causes me to feel the picture instead of simply looking at it.
A couple weeks ago I did a session for a friend and I was so unhappy with the turn out that I messaged her and told her that I was refunding her money. She told me that I was ridiculous and I was truthfully annoyed with her confidence in me. I couldn't see what she saw. I looked at the picture and all I saw was uneven light across her daughters face, I thought she only liked it because it was her daughter... she had to like it, but then I started seeing the comments from others who were unbiased in their opinions and a light bulb went off in my head. I am my own worst critic and I worry about the judgement of what I put out because I created it, its me.... its my work, its something that despite involving others is so personal and it scares me to feel so exposed. What if nobody likes it, what if someone thinks I'm bad or untalented, what if someone feels like choosing me was a waste of their time and money..... these are the thought that enter my head every time I edit. In the end the problem is not my skill level or lack of education or lack of love for photoshop, the problem is me. And its not only photography, it spills over into other areas of my life to, I am my own worst enemy and the harsh judgement that I hear is only my own. I need to nip this in the butt right now.
I need to get out of my own way and see where my love of capturing life can take me. I need to see who I can be with true confidence. There have recently been some financial changes in my household and it was crystal clear that I needed to earn more money. I toyed with the thought of returning to teaching daycare but I would simply be going through the motions with no real affection for the job. While I may take that route on a supply/substitute schedule I also decided to expand from natural light photography and also include artificial lighting and open a home based studio. I can accept more clients and I wont be so weather dependent. I need to get out of my comfort zone, see what I can create when I am not afraid of the judgement of others (or myself) because after all I AM A PHOTOGRAPHER!
Click Here To View A Slideshow Created By Treasure Beyond Measure Photography