shoot and share finalist
Apr 22 2016

Jealousy, comparing, and other photographer problems| Shoot & Share results

There comes a point where every artist and creator, and with that I’m including photographer, has a rut. I’m in my rut. It’s kinda a big one.

 

I entered 32 photos in a contest this year at Shoot and Share. I didn’t look at the results until yesterday because honestly I couldn’t get myself to care. I knew I didn’t win and I didn’t expect to win, but it came down to the fact that for the past few months I haven’t been good enough. No one has told me as such, in fact I’ve heard the opposite from so many loving people. But when you are in a rut all you can see is the mud.

 

I graduated with a degree in art education. I really really REALLY like art. One of my favorite motivational quotes is “If you don’t call yourself an artist, no one else will.” So I called myself an artist. Photography is an art. Thus, I called myself {in a stuffy voice} a “Photographer,” but really I just like taking pretty pictures . “Art is in the eye of the beholder.” “Art is subjective.” “Art is not what you see but what you make OTHERS see”…. yada yada yada, right? Okay rabbling over, the point I’m trying to get out is that when I spend hours browsing the endless pit of pinterest photos, instagrams, and the blogs of other photographers what am I looking for? New inspiration? New ideas? OR am I on a personal mission to destroy my confidence? Or maybe try to find some personal satisfaction in the fact that at least I am a little “better” than so-and-so. Whatever “better” means.

 

Photography is amazing to me. It is literally a physical, pixelated, living color proof of a silver in time. And with all the workshops and shootouts I’ve been to I’ve learned a universal truth: everyone sees things differently. The only thing we can continue to do is make what is ours, what we see. Comparing our work to others literally kills our creativity. ¬†We live a world of constant distraction for me it starts with a few extra minutes. {*scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, click, scroll, scroll, click, scroll, scroll, pin, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll*} An hour later I am frustrated, small, and clearly so behind in everything, feeling maybe I should just quit and sell my camera. I could buy a vacation for the cash I could make!

 

{Enter motivational quote here:}

Who cares!! I LOVE what I do. LOVE IT. I LOVE people and I LOVE when I make a picture that stops ME in my tracks. I LOVE when I knows I’ve nailed a moment perfectly and I get to do a happy dance while my clients are watching. Most of all, I LOVE that I get to look back on these pictures and know that I captured a one of a kind moment.

 

I hope to be patient with myself. And I’m positive that I won’t be regretting that I didn’t spend a few more hours looking at other wedding photographer’s photos. I’m just grateful. Grateful for the moments I got to share, for the stories I was there to tell, for the moment I help make last. And for the people who opened their lives to me.

 

So, this contest. I did pretty good. 26 out of 32 were in the top 30% or higher. And it was awesome to look back and the PROGRESS I’ve made in the last year. And the truth hit me this morning. My competition is never “them.” My competition was, and has always been, me.

 

I had two finalist images. One of them was from this shoot I did with my husband and little girl last May in Downtown Idaho Falls. I had this idea of doing a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” inspired daddy-daughter date. We “window shopped” (which means running up and down the street next to windows, had breakfast at Great Harvest, and played in the blossoms before daddy went to work.

 

My style has changed a lot since I took these images. But I still love them. I can’t get these moments back. My little girl is my big girl now. Looking through these photos, I smiled and laughed and really thought about my little girl. That’s what I hope my images do. Thats the really reason I do what I do.

 

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  • Connie Ricks Handy
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    I love what you said. I think you nailed it. I think when we have the desire to create things we feel the way you described. I know I have. Thanks for reminding me of why I do what I do.

    April 22, 2016 at 6:40 pm

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