(Copied from my old blog Miss-Cellophane.com: Things I imagine my future self would tell my current photographer self. This I need to read often, and it helps to keep me grounded.)
Forget about acquiring clients right now, because right now NOT getting them is bringing you down. Focus on art and creating, focus on enjoying, and clients may come. Or they may not. But don’t let this determine the worth of you(r work).
Create your own goals and make your own path. Forget about what others are doing. Do what you do in your own way, your own pace. YOU make your life happen, YOU determine your direction and your speed. Don’t let others do it for you. Let it go. Feel good about what YOU achieve. Be grateful. Be proud. Because it’s enough.
Be better and more disciplined when it comes to communication and networking. Organize your online life, but also your offline one.
- Put yourself out there a lot more. (Blog, tweet, etc.)
- And submit your work. Don’t let the fear of hearing ‘no’, or nothing at all, hold you back.
You don’t need a Canon EOS Mark 5D II or L-glass to feel like a worthy photographer. Focus on taking pictures the way you love and know how – because after all, you do feel in your heart that what matters is meaning and moments, not equipment. Keep feeling that way. Stick to natural light, because it’s what you DO and love and know. Just because people in The Netherlands are so focused on studio doesn’t mean you should also strobe your ass off. When really, you don’t want to.
Don’t let one guy’s critique bring you down EVER again. It’s just one opinion. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; this one guy’s probably got shit in his eye to start with. Never apologize for doing things your way. Never doubt what you find beautiful. Own your style and decisions. Be proud of them every step of the way.
Keep allowing yourself to be inspired, and try not to look at art work like things you never thought of, things you should be doing. Don’t compare yourself with others. Be inspired instead and use that feeling to create something true to yourself. Make your own mark.
Let go of being a perfectionist. Upload and share what you feel like sharing. See the positives, see what’s THERE and not what’s missing. Because chances are nothing really is missing. It’s just your perfectionism and insecurities being a bitch.
Do not judge a photo’s merit based on number comments, favorites, views. Or amount of money they make. Submit and share every photo you’re proud of, and you’ll find yourself in possession of a lovely stream / portfolio, no matter the comments.
You feel like you don’t fit in here in this country, The Netherlands. Look at it instead as an opportunity to even further distinguish yourself. It’s an opportunity to be different and unique. Not fitting in, then, is actually a good thing, especially when you can fully embrace being an artist-loving-art-and-creating instead of a moneymaking professional.
What do you want? Write down what comes to mind, don’t think about it too much:
- To make meaningful, lasting art
- To publish
- To inspire
- To be remembered, appreciated (I’m not asking for fame; I just want to have lived and have done something)
- To tell my story, share my life
- To remember
So do what you want.
There’s room for you out there. On the web, in magazines, in people’s hearts or on their walls. You just have to step up and claim it sometimes. Your spot is waiting for you to fill it.
Your success rate is determined by one person: you. Not by other people and their successes. This is important for you to understand as you continue your path. Other’s works do not determine how good yours are. You have your place, you’ve earned it, continue to earn a bigger space. Other people have their own place. Your place in the world is not smaller because that of others is bigger.
>> So stop comparing yourself to other artists.
What do YOU find beautiful?
What do OTHERS find beautiful?
- Learn the difference between these two, and understand that the answer of only one of these questions matters as you create.
Stuck? Like you have been the past 6 weeks?
- Read this post. Read it again and again.
- Use the (negative) energy and use it to keep going. Write it off (writing is creating). Ask people to give you little photo assignments to keep going (three things they want you to photograph). Take flower photos, do “research”, take self-portraits. Keep going, stomping on and that wall won’t have a chance at being built up.
Art is therapy. Use it.
Stop feeling afraid. Let go of anxiety. Stop worrying:
- about sucking
- about failing
Focus on what you’ve accomplished. Focus on your strengths. Focus on what you have to give. Focus on enjoying.
Know that you are good enough. Trust in this, believe this.
(August 14th 2011 – copied from my personal journal. Doesn’t get more honest than this.)
Edit: August 25th 2011
You don’t need to be good at everything. You need specialization, focus and style. That said, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone every now and again. You might surprise yourself. Try new things, but don’t forget who you are and what you love.