One of my most paralyzing attributes is the fear of “not being good enough”. I used to go to a basketball court to practice, and would immediately freeze up when I saw others come to the court. I wouldn’t actually leave, but I certainly didn’t take as many risks. I didn’t want to be judged. More likely than not: they didn’t care about me in the least. I spent so much time worrying about what others may have thought about me that I ended up not having fun. What’s the point in that?
The same goes with my photography. It’s a struggle, you know. Putting up a website so that people can see my images, posting blog posts on Facebook for “exposure” (which, at the moment, amounts to family and friends dropping a like here or there). I have aspirations, of course. I truly want to be a wedding photographer. Not a big shot, but someone who makes heartfelt images for people who want to make it a heartfelt day. And yeah, I want to sell something so I can buy super cool photography gear…but that’s an aside. I’ve already talked about how much I love to capture a moment. I’m working on taking pictures of my family, if not for the memories then for the practice. I am working without a flash at the moment and it certainly leads to some creative solutions in order to find the light needed for an acceptable photo. I will say though: the a7III’s low-light performance smashes my old a6500.
Anyway, it was these moments that have been sparking my creativity. Something that I’ve been working on remembering was that I wasn’t here to show other people how awesome my work is, but that I am making my work more awesome. If people don’t read these blogs, or look at my photos, then so be it, right? I am here to not only make better photos each time I press the shutter, but to also be a better writer each time I hit the save button on this blog. So if I take a random photo of a brick wall because it meant something at the time, I shouldn’t fear someone viewing that image and going “Ew.” I took it for me, why care about anything else?
Sparking creativity for someone who is intensely fearful of being judged harshly is a back and forth battle between keeping my camera in my bag and just simply snapping away for the love of it. This doesn’t mean I post every photo I ever take…obviously. This means simply that because I’m not posting every photo I ever take that I should take every photo I ever want. Working on the composition, the leading lines, the exposure, the depth of field…these are the things that matter in the end. At least, right now it does. Once I get to the point that I’m no longer focused on those things (much like when I used to watch the speedometer when first learning to drive), I can then start worrying about how much people will like it. After all, people liking it is kinda how wedding photographers are made, am I right?
So over the last month, and for the next few, I’m practicing two things:
- Taking the photo for the sake of practicing the technique of photography.
- Practicing more creative shots, utilizing light, form, pose and location.