It took a long time before I was comfortable referring to myself as a photographer. I felt that I wasn't good enough or experienced enough to claim the level of expertise that comes with that title. It took me an even longer time before I was comfortable charging clients for my work because I felt like I was just pretending to be a photographer. I've spoken this week with people from various fields who have all experienced feeling like you are portraying a level of expertise that you really don't have. Imposture syndrome has held me back from taking on certain jobs and sharing my work in certain spaces.
This post is for anyone embarking on a new journey in any way. The only way to deal with the learning curve is to keep at it. You are going to suck and make mistakes, keep at it. If you are feeling frustrated and like you aren't ever going to get better, consider this post a sign to KEEP AT IT! If you have stopped pursuing something because you tried and sucked at it, pick up where you left off and KEEP AT IT!! It's ok to not be perfect right out the womb. Allow yourself some space to try, fail, learn and improve.
Every mistake I've made as a photographer has contributed to my development. I still have a long way to go in terms of my growth and I look forward to a life-long journey of cultivating my craft. I am working on letting go of judging my art based on how shareable it is or how many likes it gets on social media. I have tons of pictures sitting on my hard drive that I never shared because they weren't like-able enough. The power of social media isn't in the ability to gather likes from the internet but rather in the ability to reach people across the world who you would otherwise never be able to engage with.
In an effort to take my own advice, here are a few pictures from when I first started out that I personally loved but didn't think were good enough to share. I don't care if you like them ;-P
Have you had to deal with impostor syndrome? What are ways that you overcome it? I'd love to hear from you!