Is the title of this post already giving you anxiety? Yeah, me too. Why do we as creatives find it so hard to be proud and be content in our work? We have spent months and months, even years to perfect our skill. I've stayed up all hours of the night learning what ISO is, or learning how to make my skin tones look just right. Yet I still find myself critiquing my work on a daily basis. Comparing my photos to other photographers. Seeing how many emails they say they are catching up on, or how they are already filled up for all of 2018 and most of 2019. These things can really bring a person down, ya know? So my question is how can we stop comparing and learn to be confident and happy with our work? Ive come up with a few ideas, but dont be afraid to leave a comment and let me know how you have learned to be confident and happy with your work!
1. STOP COMPARING
Of course this seems so obvious, but it is so true. Unfollow those people who are triggering you and making you feel less than. Anytime I see a post that makes me overthink I will unfollow. Not because I dont like them or appreciate them, but because it hurts my mental health and Im just trying to survive over here! I think intentionally following the right people will seriously help you to significantly decrease the times you compare yourself.
2. LOOK BACK ON HOW FAR COME
One thing that I think is not only hilarious, but also helpful, is when I look back to when I first started, or even to a few years ago and see how much I have improved. Sometimes I feel like Im just never improvoing and that Im so stuck and my work is just blah but then I look back and realize how much I have improved and learned and grown as a photographer. LIKE OMG you should see some of my first photos.... MAN are they so bad. I feel bad for people who hired me back then hahaha. But hey they got a deal of probably $30 dollars for a session. (I WOULD NOT PAY THAT MUCH FOR THE PHOTOS I GAVE OMGGGG GAG ME)
I was so proud of this image guys. I was like OMG YES IM A PHOTOGRAPHER! Hahahahha
My work now reflects my style a lot more. I've improved and I can be proud of that!
3. CHALLENGE YOURSELF
To improve, we've got to keep taking in new information and also challenging ourselves to try new things. I've been challenging myself lately to try one new thing during a shoot. If its trying a different angle, or a new pose, or to just using a different prompt to get a new reaction out of my clients. ANYTHING to make your normal session new and unique and slightly scary. My most recent challenge was actually mostly just fun but I thrifted two whole outfits for the couples to wear and it was SO FUN. I also did new poses that were so weird but they turned out so cool IMO.
4. PRAISE YOURSELF
When I take a session, there is usually at least one image that I am so obsessed with. Find that one photo and let yourself be proud of it. It is ok to LOVE your work. It is ok to be obsessed with a session. I think sometimes we try to be so humble that we dont actually want to say that we are so happy with what we've produced. Take a few minutes everyday to be happy with your successes. Pat yourself on the back, let your besties know you booked a repeat client that you love, or that you booked that Oregon wedding. It is ok. If your friends are truly your friends, they will be happy for you!
Those are just a few things that I think help me, but I definitely still struggle with this. I dont know if I'll ever be 100 percent in love with my work, but honestly I think its a little bit healthy to always strive to want to be better. Not to the point where it makes you sick, but to a point where youre happy but know you can reach even farther. Please let me know any tips or tricks you might have and want to share!