Janette the Flailing Photog

For some reason I feel like Mary Stuart Masterson in this outfit or a modern day Laura Ingalls...It's the studded boots, I think. Channeling urban rock cowgirl, sort of?? I don't know. Don't ask. It's a reflection of the funk I've been in the past few days. Maybe it's just pre-wedding shoot jitters? I don't know. Sometimes...more like always... I feel I'm not cut out to be a photographer. And I'm considering just canning the whole photo-side business... It's not even because it's been slow. That's not it.

 I don't mind having a photo shoot once a month. That's a good rate for me. However, I do mind being overly critical of myself and having constant negative thoughts between shoots.... Have you ever seen a photographer's work and thought, "WOW! That person has no place in this business... Someone should tell them. I feel bad for them..." I feel like I'm THAT person and no one's been brave enough to tell me:  "You're just not good enough."  "You don't have the eye." "Just quit!"
Now before I continue, let me just clarify ONE thing. This post IS NOT about fishing for compliments or seeking affirmation. Honestly!  I just want to get this off my chest cause it's crippling. and also confirms and highlights the story of my life, which is this....
My whole life, I've been so-so at a lot of things. Sports, cooking, music, writing, ___________(insert skill set here) .... But I've never excelled at any thing. I have no strengths. Just a ton of semi-somethings. And I'm adding photography to that list. Gosh. I sound like such a Debbie downer right now..Boo! But I can't seem to shake this. (It's not all summer and sprinkles in my head all the time, in case you didn't know..Haha!)
I guess this is my ultimate question....I know that I can improve (anything) with practice, research, practice, research...Especially with photography...But if I do invest more time into this and practice till I die....At the end of the day, will these feelings of ineptness still be there? Or will there come a day when I finally have full confidence in this craft?

Can you relate? Please tell me you can!

16 comments

  1. keep keep keep on shooting! The more you shoot, the better you'll get! Sometimes I shoot hundreds of pictures a day, practice, practice. And I also sometimes have the same feelings as you do about being a photographer. I finish editing a session and am scared to put it online because "what if people don't like my work?" I have to get that out of my head and put my work out there. Keep shooting girl! Also, do you shoot auto or manual? Because the switch opened up an amazing new world for me! All the best! xoxo

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  2. Totally. I feel so-so at a lot of life. And I'd like to be great at one thing. Or 5 things. Whatever. I think the problem is that we are our biggest critics. We see every. Single. Flaw and we let that get us down. Maybe you should set some photog goals. Learn something new and master it until its as easy at turning the camera on and off. Find your style. Ask for criticism and opinions. And for the record, i think your photog is great. Seriously. If someone tells you to stop................
    I will punch them in the face.

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  3. I don't think Laura Ingalls ever looked that good! Cute outfit!

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  4. Practice surely makes perfect...I just finished my Specialist program and I still don't feel all that professional and well-versed in my career. I just feel that the more experience I have, the more apt I will feel to tackle things on my own.
    I think you are looking at life in a modest way, but the truth of the matter is that people like you excel in many things, more than what you think. You may feel like there is more to learn and more to know. On the other hand, I look up to your photog and blog design skills! So know this, although you feel you want to be better and learn more, there's someone else out there admiring your craft! So focus on one thing you want to improve and put it as a goal...like Larissa said. This is hopefully a way to calm your inner critic :)

    xoxo Andie
    Andie's Traveling Pants

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  5. I can absolutely relate and I don't think the feelings of ineptitude will ever go away. But, I think that's a good thing! If you didn't feel like there was room for improvement, how would you possibly continue to grow? I've had to learn to stop comparing myself to others - there will ALWAYS be someone better - and just compare myself to myself. In other words, compare your current work to your older work to see how you've improved and what you still need to work on. When I finally realized that, I suddenly felt a rush of pride at how far I've come in the last year (fair warning - this is probably going to be the subject of my next self-employment post).

    And did you ever think maybe no one told you "You're just not good enough." "You don't have the eye." "Just quit!" because none of that is actually true??

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  6. well i think you are good enough because people wouldn't book you if they thought you were rubbish.

    and i have those feelings all the time, i always think i am not good enough and a disappointment to everyone. so i strive for perfection even more and i get no closer. hopefully one day i will no longer care and all those feelings will go away. if i find a magic cure i will let you know :)

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  7. First off, I just ran across your blog for the first time today and love it! :) You've got so many fun photos! And to answer your question on your post, I can totally relate. That's definitely how I've been feeling the past year or so. I just recently finished my first year of teaching and while all of my other teacher friends still have their job, I have to go on the hunt again. And as it was last summer and again this summer...what don't I have that everyone else does who is getting a job? It makes me feel as though I'm not as great at this as everyone else and then I get down on myself. It's definitely a hard thing to deal with because I just want to know and be recognized sometimes for what I am doing well on rather than, "Oh, good job."

    Anyway, thanks for sharing! I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog!! :)

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  8. gr8 pictures girl!! and i am in LOVE with those boots you have on! super cute


    http://infinitelifefitness.com
    http://mscomposure.blogspot.com

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  9. I've learned that talent can only take you so far and in the end it is the practicing till you die that makes you feel the confidence you are searching for. There is nothing wrong with being a jack of all trades, it just gives you lots of options to run after

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  10. I have been there girl! {I am feeling down right now about not being able to find a freaking job!} Hard work and gaining confidence end up being what will excel you, but sometimes it is just hard to come by. Even if you were world's worst photographer {which your not, but since you are not fishing for compliments I won't tell you how much I love your photos here on this blog} do you have a passion for it? Passion has to be {in my humble opinion} the base for learning and getting bits of confidence pieced together.

    I say this next bit with no experience in photography I am lucky if I can get a picture right with my point and shoot. {oh you wanted your face in that picture?!?} You get my drift...anyway, I have seen photographers that aren't my cup a tea...and I think "wow, how do they make it?" But I think photography is something subjective and people have different opinions on what makes a photo great. That is why it would be hard for me to call someone out on whether they should be doing it or not.

    Anyway I hope my comment made even a shred of sense {it made sense in my head if that helps!}

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  11. I TOTALLY understand, friend! But we aren't perfect beings and we will NEVER learn all there is to know about a given skill/craft/whatever. There is beauty in our imperfections. There is joy in the journey . There is ALWAYS room to grow. At the end of the day, as long as you ENJOY what you are doing, you will always be successful! I'm definitely learning this about my self-perception...it isn't worth it to compare yourself to others. Enjoy what you are called to be and embrace EVERY part of that (failures included!). Keep the faith, pretty girl!

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  12. Hey Janette

    I have absolutely no helpful advice here, because honestly I feel the same (about myself, not about you.. I think you're awesome!) I totally understand what you're saying about feeling so-so at lots of things but not excelling at one thing, I have this with art, illustration, crafting, I often wish I was just really good and confident at one thing instead of being ok at a few things. I wish I knew the answer to this too, it's one of my constant frustrations.
    However I love your photography! I know that's not what you were asking in this post, but just for the record, I do! :)

    Also I actually came here to let you know you were picked in the postcard giveaway :)
    here: http://deerlittlefawn.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/free-postcards-winners.html

    Stay Awesome!
    xBeth

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  13. Love your honesty, sweet friend and you are not alone at all! I've turned down two shoots recently because I don't feel qualified due to lack of equipment. I hate that that is what is holding me back but it is the truth. I can not provide good photos with lack of lighting equipment. I think you should keep pouring your heart into it! I love your work so much! Keep pressing on! That's what I'm doing! I think someday my dream will be reached!

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  14. ps. I'm loving your new layout and I think you showed that HTML whose boss! I will try to get you my button by next week!

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  15. Wow, same here ! I see all these people with passions and excellence and I'm just (I know it's bad) jealous. I've never excelled at anything either, not until secondary school, back then, yes I was excellent at English, but now studying English in University, I'm not excellent anymore. And it feels pretty bad realising how common I am. Because that's the problem, being so-so, as you say, is like being banal to me.
    And, it's not to make you feel better or something, I'm just being honest here, you're not common at all, you are a great and funny girl, who is allowed not to always have "summer and sprinkles" in her head ;)
    So I can't tell about the wedding photos because I haven't seen any from you yet but I love the photos you post on your blog, they are beautiful.
    And, a bit more of honesty, even though my computer is really slow loading blogs these days, I always wait til it loads yours, because it's one of my very favourites ! Keep on working, doubt is just another step towards improvement !

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  16. YOU ARE SO GORGEOUS.
    AND I WANT YOUR WARDROBE.

    that is all.

    ps- i'm stalking your old posts, yes.

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Love,
Janette