After being in the field of photography for about 7 years, there are still times where I get butterflies and feel nervous before a shoot depending on the nature of them. As photographers, it is very natural for us to be afraid of certain thing within our craft or even second guess ourselves but what counts the most is how exactly you deal with these issues. As someone who has and still does deal with fears in photography, I will be sharing some of the key tips I use personally to help me overcome or conquer my fears when shooting or before I start a session. Let’s dive in.
This is one of the first steps in the wrong direction when trying to get over your fears in photography. We often develop a habit of questioning our capabilities to complete a certain project before even giving it a try. This often stems from us not believing that we can do what is needed to make something as great as the client or talent is asking for. By second-guessing yourself like this, you’ve not only started to fail but you’ve already failed.
Instead of asking yourself if you’re capable of doing something, start to question yourself and ask what it is exactly that is stopping you from doing it. Once you acknowledge the obstacles ahead of you to complete a project, the easier it gets to jump over these obstacles. As creatives, we are all capable of doing or rather creating anything we want to. Our capabilities are only limited by our imagination and not by anything else.
After second guessing yourself, you usually end up trying to compare yourself or your work to someone else’s. There is a thin line between admiration and comparison. While it is always good to admire the work of another photographer, it is unhealthy to begin to compare yourself to them. As photographers, we are all different in our style of shooting as well as our edits, in addition to that we also have different levels of experience within the field. So for example as a beginner, you cannot or rather should not try to compare yourself or work to photography who’s been in the field for almost 6 years.
The level of experience is different which means the quality of work will also be different as well. You can slowly but surely overcome this by reminding yourself on a daily basis that everyone has the same 24 hours each day it’s how you spend your own 24 hours that counts. There is nothing stopping you from being as great as or even better than the photographer you compare yourself to or even admire. However, if you want to be like them or better than them, then it all starts with taking the steps in the right direction and acknowledging the gift and passion you have for the art of photography.
I can personally say I have fallen in this trap many times and sometimes even convinced by others who didn’t have my best interest at heart that my work wasn’t as good as someone else. This can often hurt and even demotivate you from even continuing photography but you shouldn’t give up that easy or give into comments like these so quickly. There is a huge difference between good and bad criticism which you should gradually be able to see. If very normal to be your own critique as well but use that energy to become better and not to run away from the issue at hand.
Some of the greatest photographers of our time were not as good as they are now but they decided to dedicate their time into getting better and growing more into their craft. Greatness does not happen overnight but is rather an interesting process. There are still things I think I can improve on myself but I make sure that make the steps towards doing so and put the extra time and effort into the craft I love so much.
This is a very common thing that I think all photographers experience at some point in the course of their career and probably still trying to get over it now. Worrying about the opinions others have will not help you to progress but rather only help to keep you in fear. Regardless of what it is you’re doing, someone will always have an opinion on you that they themselves are entitled to. However, this does not mean that their opinion should matter to you or have you believe that it is a fact. To slowly conquer this fear I often recommend adopting an attitude where you stay focused on yourself and your craft. Filling up your mind with what others think eventually leaves no space for matters concerning you. Prioritize and put the things that are important first and then everything else can come after.
I truly hope this article has helped to open your eyes as to how you can overcome some of the most common fears shared amongst us photographers. Until next time, thank you for stopping by!