Wednesday, July 11

Photography... or lack thereof.

There's something I've been thinking about for a while now that I really need to get out of my head and down in writing. I don't know if I can organize my thoughts enough for a coherent post, but let's try...

A year and a half ago, Brit let me buy a fancy-pants new DSLR camera. It was going to be great. I picked things up pretty quickly (if I do say so myself), and was very proud of the awesome pictures I was taking. As I learned more and more, I've started to get really frustrated with this hobby of mine. I don't have the best self-esteem, so it doesn't take much for me to look at a picture and notice everything wrong with it, which I've started doing more often than not. It got to a point this year where I didn't even want to pick up my camera anymore, ever. Everything I did was just not good enough. Not even close. I could take a picture and- for a very short while- think "Yeah! Look at that! I'm so awesome, I should be in business." But then, within a week or even less, I would start seeing all the flaws and just hate it and hate myself for taking it.

I belong to a forum of photographers from all skill levels, and it's taught me a LOT, but mostly I think it shows me how much better "everyone else" is than me. These people are ARTISTS! I look at their work, and I am in awe. How could I ever think to compare with that?

Then, a revelation. I don't know what sparked it, but I was thinking all these negative thoughts, and I realized- I don't NEED to be that good! Yes, it would be nice to make some money from my hobby (it's not a cheap one!)... but I never got a camera with the intent to be a professional! I don't NEED to compare with all the pro (or even really-good-not-pro) photographers on my forum. I got a camera to take nice pictures, and I HAVE TO recognize that I'm doing exactly that. They may not be professional  caliber or salable, but they're nice pictures of my baby, and my family. I don't need to impress anyone else. Sure I want to, but someday I will be thankful to have just these.

It's all great in theory... if I could only remember and apply it to my life. It doesn't stick. I keep going back to being frustrated with all my pictures and wanting to give up. I think I need more sleep.


Baum Family said...

I think you do an amazing job!!

Cynthia said...

Not only a great theory but a healthy mature what you love and love what you do...Now let's see some of those cute pictures of that darling boy!! xo C

heather said...

AMEN!!! Seriously Jen - this is a revelation that you'll probably need to remind yourself of every day for a while, but it'll become natural if you stick to it. I'm proud of you for reaching this perspective, because knowing the purpose and intent of what your do can completely change the enjoyment you experience. I hope you continue! And I am SO excited to see you soon!! Love you!

Nick and Dani said...

Ah, man! No! Don't look at them that way because your pictures are inspiring to me. Lol, I know I'm not a great photographer, but your photography has meant something to me! I still think of you as the guru and when I get stumped. I always think I should (and have once) write you to get your opinion. A while ago you gave me the best advice, just that experience was the only way to get better and to understand more. It's been true for me! Anyway... I'll step down off my soapbox, now. :)

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