How Being A Photographer Is Like Walking Around Naked
I clearly remember the day I created my Facebook page and ‘became a Photographer’ almost 4 years ago. I had just photographed a family session and edited all the photos in Picasa (don’t judge!) and was sooo super excited to share my BEAUTIFUL work with the world. But when it came time to post my images, something weird happened. My heart started pounding, my palms got sweaty, and I started to get overwhelmingly nervous after I pushed the Post button. But why? I was so proud of my photos and the moments I captured in them. What was going on?? It was then that I learned how being a Photographer made me feel so vulnerable. It made me feel completely exposed, like I was putting my heart and soul out there for the world to view and criticize or love. But I really was, especially as I get further along in my photography career.
Mostly I was just scared. Plain and simple. I was afraid that people wouldn’t think I had any business taking pictures, that they would tell me I didn’t have the talent to be successful, or they wouldn’t think the emotion I captured was as special as I thought it was. It’s about putting my vision out there in the form of artwork, something I worked hard on and found pride in. Not everyone puts their passion out into the world. Some people keep it private because it’s so special to them that they don’t want to share it with the world for a lot of the reasons I’m sharing in this post.
I think something that people don’t realize or think about is that the photos that we put out there are an end result of so much more than just pressing the shutter. Each image represents so much of ME – countless hours of learning everything I can about perfecting my craft so I can get better at what I love doing, it’s about wanting people to love and find value in what I create, it’s about wanting to feel validated in the reasons I do this – that the hours of family time I give up are worth something to someone and the love and careful attention to detail is noticed and appreciated by my clients. I want you to like what I do. I want to know that the hours of sleep I pass up to edit sessions, or work on my next blog post, or design another album, or update photos on my website, or learn what the heck widgets are for my website, are important and that I’m not doing it for nothing.
Having your own business sucks. A lot. Especially in your first couple years when you’re struggling to find yourself in your style and brand all the while trying to stay afloat with the awful and constant pressure of turning a profit. It’s HARD. You’re subjected to everyone’s opinion, comments, and criticisms of your photos whether it is welcome or not. You’re haunted by the ghost emails of potential clients who contact you but never hear from again. You constantly question your pricing and ask yourself if you’re worth it, if what you do is valuable to people, if people will pay you to do what you love. It makes you sensitive and vulnerable and exposed to the world. It brings you pride, terrifies you, throws you to the fire, gives you a sense of accomplishment, pisses you off, allows you to learn new things every single day, swallows you in self-doubt, brings you to tears, frustrates you like nothing else. It is absolutely an emotional roller coaster that you might ride multiple times a day.
Being a photographer really is a lot like walking around naked – putting yourself out there, exposed for the world to see. I find that the longer I do this, the tougher my skin gets. I have become so much more confident in my work and my abilities and I know that I have come a long way. Photography has become so much more to me than just taking pictures. I have learned so much about myself, pushed myself to extremes, found amazing friendships in my clients, and found that my base of support that has grown over the years has become my life support and I am so incredibly indebted to those who encourage my dreams, help me through the rough patches, and celebrate with me in my successes. The support that I receive helps me feel more covered up, helping me feel less vulnerable and more secure in myself, as I learn that others stand by my side and are along for the ride with me.
My passion has brought me so far and I’m looking forward to see where the next 4 years brings me.
for capturing the emotion of the day - the love and happiness that
you would never think
could be enveloped
in a ” - Sharon & David
in a photo
is ” - Christine
candid shots. she truly
what she's doing
and it shows
in her work. We were
very lucky to have
found her for our
wedding. ” - Katie & Tony