Let’s talk about confidence and some ways we can help boost it as photographers.
1.There is no one, and I mean absolutely NO ONE, that can create photographs the way you do.
Even if you try to copy every element employed by another photographer, a little piece of you is always there. Instead of trying to mold yourself into someone else, embrace what YOU bring to the table with your unique talents, perspectives and life experiences. There is no one in the world that has EVER lived life the way you have. Think about that for a few minutes. In all the history of ALL OF THE WORLD, there has never been anyone exactly like you. That is amazing. Bring that to bear on your photographs. Show the world how and what you see.
2.Just do it.
I can’t stress this one enough. There is no difference between beginner and master. The only thing that spans the space between them is practice. There is no magical formula that is going to transform you in the photographer you aspire to be other than practice.
What do I mean by practice?
Constant dedication to that which you desire to attain. It can mean reading tutorials, shooting, editing, taking a workshop…it simply means working at getting better. I could not be a bigger proponent of taking a photo a day for an entire year (Project 365) I decided the moment I bought my first DSLR that I would commit to doing that. Some days I took ridiculously stupid pictures just to say I took one. But at the end of the year, I can’t tell you how great it felt to know that I had set a goal and accomplished it. I think it’s hard to find a confidence booster bigger than that. Hard work paying off often has that affect.
3.Create luck for someone else.
We all want our photos to be “chosen” as a weekly favorite or showcased on a popular blog. It feels good to be recognized for our work. But I’ll let you in on a big secret. It feels even better to do that for someone else.
Start “liking” other photographers pages.
Give them a compliment on their photos.
Showcase THEIR work on your page.
Make them feel special.
Do you know a fellow photographer who is struggling to grasp a concept that you are an expert at? Help them! And watch how that makes YOU feel to see them appreciate you taking the time to invest in them.
“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”
Watch this: Brigette Rebol has NO idea I’m about to showcase this fabulous photo I spotted on her page a few weeks ago. Hi Brigette! This is my all-time favorite photo of yours! (Don’t worry, I did get her permission to use it-she just doesn’t know why! Oh this so much fun!)
4.Take a class or workshop and BE active with the other participants.
For a long time, I kept my photography to myself and very close friends and family. Sharing your work through workshops and classes is a great way to connect with fellow photographers who are interested in furthering the same skillset you are. I have taken several workshops at Clickin Moms and have formed dozens of friendships online a result of sharing the learning experience together. We continue to be a part of each other’s journey long after the class has ended. I can count on them to provide encouragement when I need it or constructive criticism when I ask for help.
Being surrounded by a supportive group of photographers does wonders for your confidence.
5. “Sweat more in peace time. You’ll bleed less in war.”
This is one of my all- time favorite quotes (it is cited to several different people—so I’ll go with it’s an ancient Chinese proverb) Here is an example of how I apply this philosophy to my photography.
One day, I think I might like to try my hand at wedding photography. But at this season in my life, I am dedicated to being totally present in the lives of my young children and don’t have the time to dedicate to second shooting or anything else necessary to get formal experience. But that’s ok. I have 3 very active children. They love to run. They will run in straight lines towards me ALL DAY if I ask them to. I try to do this in as many lighting situations as possible (inside, outside, shady, overcast and all that I can think of in between) Because when the moment comes for me to shoot that bride walking down the aisle—you can bet it’s going to feel like she is moving in slow motion compared to capturing a fast moving kid coming at me. I will have rehearsed this moment SO many times, it will be a piece of cake.
Push yourself when it doesn’t matter and when opportunity knocks, you’ll not only be able to answer the door…you’ll have a dinner party prepared for it!
Leave a comment below sharing one way you build your confidence as a photographer.