Any photographer that has seen success will tell you to shoot something for yourself. If you do it enough, people will begin to notice that work and start hiring you to shoot more of what you love.
On my quest to do more editorial and commercial work, I decided to give myself an assignment a few weeks ago. I mapped out seven different images I wanted to create. Since then I’ve done nothing with it.
Today I finally had one of those moments where I just had to get up and shoot something, so I decided to work on the project. I had one image in mind to start with. After working for about an hour I didn’t get it. I ended up with the one above instead. I know why I didn’t get it. It was the wrong time of day to get the look I was going for and I didn’t leave my front yard. I really need a place with a clear view of the sky and no houses around. So I failed to achieve exactly what was in my head. Even though I know why that was, it has bothered me all night. And looking at my schedule I’m not going to have time to reshoot for another week or so. Which means it will bother me for a week or so.
This brought to the forefront something I’ve always felt. I’m only as good as my last shoot.
Like most other creatives, I’m very insecure. Or am I the only one? Crap, there’s the insecurity again. I can have an amazing shoot. Let’s look at the photo below as an example.
I went into this shoot with Michael with this exact shot in mind. Down to the last detail, this is what I pictured when I scouted the location. And I got it. I rode a high from that shoot. I saw that there might just be hope for me to really make a living as a photographer.
And then I stumbled tonight. And I feel like a hack in danger of being outed as a hack. I know I’m constantly improving. I have a body of work that I’m starting to have a little pride in. I feel like I’m growing as a photographer and trying new things.
And yet, I can’t shake the feeling tonight that I’ll never gain any traction in this business. I’m really not fishing for compliments. I just recognize something I’m struggling with and I like to publicly examine that and see if others face the same issues.
So, do you?