In this industry (lovely photography industry) it is super easy to loose yourself and pretend that it is ok to do so. I end up with all these sessions and life is great and money is good, but I grow afraid and start this process of self-doubt. Will the family like my photographs, will they think I am weird, will the kids hate my guts because I have a camera in my hand, will I end up finishing the session and everyone just thinks I am weird??? So many questions and sleepless nights just because I want some type of recognition before I even start. What craziness is this!!
I am sure every photographer has encountered this feeling or anxiety and self-frustration. I am very proud of what I do but this anxiety can be more frustrating than helpful. Sometimes I catch myself looking at other photographers work just to make me feel like I know what I am doing. Sometimes I tell myself if I was more like this photographer then maybe I could have more confidence. Blah blah blah! All of this is just a silly ritual that my self doubt crosses days before my session/event.
I have been photographing people for about 5 years now. You would think that the butterflies were no longer there and that my self-confidence was so intact that nothing would affect me. WRONG! My stomach gets that crazy nervous sense, my dreams become about bad incidents that happen to my camera, my family notices I am nervous, and my dog, well she just looks at me with pity in her eyes.
Minutes before the session all of this craziness converts into adrenaline. My focus becomes super sharp; my camera is now part of me and not a tool. I study the family and I get to know each of them as individuals. It is like I become a camera ninja. Where did all the self-doubt go? How did my nerves become so fierce?
At the end of the session I give my self the same lecture. “Vero you are just a silly person. You do this to yourself all the time.” I laugh and I think how in control I become once the real deal happens. What a silly person I am.
Self-doubt is a NO NO! And I know this. I tell my children don’t doubt your self because you are amazing! But honestly one can’t help feeling those senses and that anxiety of wanting perfection. And it is much more difficult to preach what you say then do what you say, RIGHT?!
Well my goal this year is to take this ritual and change it to a more productive learning experience. Perhaps I should meditate? Perhaps I should sing a song? Maybe I just need more hugs from my kiddos to remind me why I do what I do. This last year I have carried my camera less. I don’t take it with me when I go on family events. I feel like I miss so much when I carry my camera. But then I get home and I get depressed because there is not one picture of my wonderful memories. Maybe I was angry with my camera? Maybe I was just taking a break from my self-doubt. I am not sure what was going on but what I do know is that I need to start appreciating my work and believing more in myself and in what I love. I love capturing people, emotions, memories. It is part of my soul. I thank God and my family for always supporting me and for encouraging me by being my models. Hurray for Photography!It sure has made life more exciting!