Lately I have been getting a lot of compliments from friends, clients and my family. “Your work is getting so much better since you photographed us last year!”, “You and your work have grown so much!”, etc. It’s such a humbling feeling when people appreciate your work. In this industry it may be easy to get discouraged or want to give up. I’ve been there, I’ve had the days where all I wanted to do was give up and stop trying, but I didn’t. Everyone has to start somewhere. Back when I was 15 I didn’t pick up the camera and know everything about photography. I knew that I loved photography and I wanted to take pictures, I wanted to improve and get better at the art of photography.
You are always your hardest critic. My first session I did I remember taking the photos and being so excited about them, when I went home and uploaded them I thought they were great! I was excited to go out and take more pictures. The next session I did I went back and looked at the last session and thought, “Wow, I could have done a lot better!” I remember talking to one of my closest friends and asking her “Is my stuff good? Why am I not getting any business? I don’t think I’m good enough” She stopped me from going on and told me that my stuff IS GOOD, and if I keep practicing my work will improve.
My point is, you have to keep practicing. I still look back at my old work and think, “What was I thinking!” But, I would have never got to where I am today if I didn’t try, if I didn’t continue to practice more. I’m not the best photographer, but I’m the best that I have ever been at the moment, and I will continue to get better! People may like my work or they may not like my work, but all that matters is that I continue to do the very best that I can!
Being a photography student has also helped my knowledge and understanding of the art of photography even more. I’m not saying that you need to go to school to be a photographer. I know plenty of people who didn’t go to school for photography and they are amazing photographers! There just wasn’t anything else I was interest in going to school for! As I’m in the last semester before I graduate, I’m thinking of the journey I have been on with my photography career. I’m excited to improve my business further after school and take everything to a whole new level.
So for all of you new photographers reading this, if you ever feel discouraged or “not good enough”, just remember that this is just the beginning of your journey and you will get there. Just keep practicing! The compliments from friends, clients, family, and even people I haven’t worked with yet but they have been following my journey, they mean so much. So thank you.
The left image is from 2012, the right image is this year!