Has an obstacle ever made you give up on a creative project? Photography-related challenges can be discouraging because of what they seem to tell us: we don’t have enough experience or talent to work on something meaningful. This kind of thinking compels us to give up when things get too difficult.
However, to excel, a certain amount of resistance is necessary. If you never had problems, you wouldn’t have valuable problem-solving skills that would help you get through inevitable failures. Without those skills, any challenge would seem like a disaster. A lack of complications would also stop you from reaching your full potential and finding happiness in your achievements.
As you can see, problems – especially ones related to creativity – are blessings in disguise. Despite their bothersome nature, they will make you more patient, detail-oriented, and thoughtful. All you have to do is face them. Here are ways you can do that as gracefully as possible.
Like emotions, photography challenges come and go. No matter how permanent a problem may seem, it will eventually run its course and teach you something new. Realizing this will give you all the space you need to fail, grow, and embrace new challenges.
Something you can do to strengthen this skill is to work on small projects that will encourage you to try something new. Experiment with new photography genres, collaborate with other photographers or find out more about a new editing program. These discoveries will both make you a more flexible artist and introduce you to exciting new projects.
There are times when hours of hard work will seem useless when you’ll feel like hiding your equipment in a basement and never looking at it again. When moments like this come, remember that no matter how much you fail, you always learn something new.
Respecting your hard work is the first step to success. Regardless of what happens in your creative life, don’t beat yourself up. The project you’re struggling with right now will get easier with time. Just set it aside, learn from your mistakes, and find opportunities to strengthen your skills.
You can’t challenge yourself for long periods of time without getting exhausted. If you consistently take breaks, you’ll be able to separate yourself from a project and find new ways to approach it. This is similar to arguing with someone – if you take a step back, assess the situation, and let your emotions pass, you’ll find a solution quickly. If you simply dive into the argument, you’ll waste time on unnecessary accusations and hurt.
Something you should definitely have is a strong support system, even if it consists of one person. Don’t be afraid of asking the photography community for help, regardless of how silly you think your problems are. Join Facebook groups and forums, sign up for newsletters, and contact artists you admire. Someone out there (including me!) will be happy to help you.
If joining an online community intimidates you, come to your friends and family for help. Even if they’re not photographers, they will be able to relate to the pain of struggling with seemingly impossible tasks. Their support may not solve all of your creative problems, but it will give you precious comfort.
In the world of photography, the most valuable gifts you have are passion and persistence. Challenges can strengthen, stretch, and perfect them, but they can’t take them away from you. To face them gracefully, all you have to do is acknowledge their temporary nature, be self-compassionate, take breaks, and ask for support. Eventually, these obstacles will turn into opportunities, not enemies, and you’ll find yourself succeeding in ways you’ve never imagined.