These were the words spoken by the instructor of my online photography course, A Month of Multiples.
“Meet yourself right where you are.”
Big sigh of relief, here. I’ve got to tell you – when I joined this course, I was just a teensy bit intimidated.
Well, you know – I had seen some of the photographs of my talented classmates… Yikes…
And yes, it’s silly, because – isn’t that what courses are for? To learn what you don’t know and to practice what you need to practice?
What is it about joining communities and sharing our work that can be so intimidating?
I don’t know about you, but every time I get ready to press that button to post something – whether it be facebook, instagram, or this blog – I hesitate. Is it ready? Is it good enough? Is it smart enough, meaningful enough, artistic enough???
Does it say what I want it to say?
And then – thankfully – there is another voice that responds, “Good enough for what? Does it really matter?”
It is kind of like the two mini-mes battling it out. (Or it could just be that overthinking thing – again…)
Ever since the first week of my course, I have been carrying my camera on our morning walk. Yeah – I have lots and lots of flower closeups with a blurry Chessie-blob in the background – and a few with some pretty cool early morning light. For a dog who will not pose for me, she has an annoying (endearing?) tendency of inserting herself into my photos.
Anyway – I am meeting myself right where I am, trying to learn what I don’t know and practicing what I need to practice. I am sharing and posting and, yes, still questioning myself as I prepare to push that button. And what I’m finding is an awesome community of incredibly supportive and talented creatives who, like me, are on their own journey. Art is meant for sharing – well, some of it.
All this clicking, though, is reviving my enthusiasm for photography and pointing me towards areas I hope to improve. Last week was the final week of my course, and I’ve been working on “Creative Portraiture.” Ummm – please be forewarned, my next post will likely contain selfie overload. At least, that is what I am planning. I may change my mind… I am fickle that way…
I am wondering, though – is it just me, or do you ever experience that moment of hesitation before you post your work? Any words of wisdom for getting past it?
I hope you have a great week!
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
6 responses to “Meet yourself right where you are”
I can’t pick a favorite photo – they all seem cohesive to your story. But, I am drawn to that landscape of the trees just showing a hint of fall. I would never post photos without editing just because I am compelled to edit. Sometimes, I just adjust brightness and contrast or sharpen a bit but sometimes I like to throw in some texture or fading. I think the editing is part of the fun of photography. I like to think that over the years I’ve developed an eye for the scene I want to photograph, However, I’d say 90 % of what I shoot gets deleted and isn’t shared with anyone. I like your retirement – I hope you do too!
I’ve always hesitated before I pushed the publish button. I am usually intimidated by other’s photos, but then I tell myself that I’m not them. I’m me. My photography is different; less styled, less prettty, real. My photography is about the moments that bring me joy and wonder. I have thoroughly enjoyed your photos for this class. You have a beautiful eye for seeing things!
i have been blogging for more than 9 years, i no longer hesitate, and you should not either! your images, your stories, always delight me. all of these images tell a story themselves but i always enjoy reading your descriptions!! your pictures are art, all of them. i LOVE the goldenrod, around here, the monarchs dance along it as they head to mexico!! and another beautiful mug!!!
I still feel that nervous moment hitting publish and I have been blogging a long time. Ten good comments can mean nothing compared to one less than encouraging comment. I think we always have to remember – we aren’t trying to be those other amazing photographers. We are tying to be ourselves. Our view of the world and our style is different than anyone else’s, but it is so important to share it because you never know who it might encourage.
Karen, I don’t think you have any reason to feel intimidated by other photographers. Your work is beautiful, atmospheric and tells a story. I feel that I see a bit of you through those images and truly like what I see (or think I see since there is also a lot of interpretation of course). To answer your question: yes, I often feel intimidated by the work of others, but funny enough, it has seldom changed my way of seeing the world through my lens. As some have already said here, we try to be ourselves. What I post is me; what you post is you; and so is everybody else. Comparing ourselves to others can be quite toxic.
I’ve been listening to and watching many of David DuChemin’s video-podcasts, and they are very encouraging. He voices a lot of the thoughts that wander through my mind. If you don’t know them, maybe you would like them. They’re called “Vision is better” and you can find them on his site craftandvision,com
Yes, I always have self-doubts after working on a post. All my posts include photos and words, but my anxiety is more on the writing and perhaps it’s because in my working days, words were integral to working experiences. But, also it’s because i truly enjoy crafting them to tell a story especially about places we’ve seen. In many ways., I am not only sharing, but teaching myself as well. I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time some days and evenings too when working on a post. Many times, there are anxieties about not having enough time to read what others have written. That induces some guilt feelings, but time can be short at times, and so I will get to everything in due time. That said, I enjoy how your posts are focused on personal observations and feelings. Maybe in another blog life I will re-invent myself?