Its been almost a year since I blogged and I apologize wholeheartedly. So much has happened in this last year. I've been in Toronto hosting a seminar for the Contact Festival, which was AMAZING! If you want a blog about that, let me know! My husband and I are expecting our first baby this fall. We are so beyond excited and cannot wait to meet our little bundle of joy! I've been working on some stuff behind the scenes that I can't wait to share plus have some really cool shoots coming up, one for a new Edmonton company I can't wait to brag about!
But this wasn't my intention of blogging today. I wanted to talk about something I've been struggling with the last few days and I think many other artists will sympathize. I've had some wonderful shoots the last few weeks, some concepts I've been dying to shoot. I'm lucky that I get to work with such talented ladies and we always have a blast together. Its when I download the shots and start editing I feel like I'm stuck. I feel stuck in a rut. I'm trying to step out of the box and do new things, be different and creative and push my creative mind. I have been trying to edit the photos and when I'm "finished" I look back and like the raw image better. I just can't seem to put what I have in my mind into the finished product. I know what I want, I know what I want to achieve but I can't seem to get there. Does anyone else struggle with this?
I feel like as artists we are our own worse critics. I talk about this in my seminars and I'm going to touch on it a little bit right now. There are times I struggle with comparing myself to others in this industry. Artists I admire and look up to so much. But the voices in my head are constantly saying, "You will never be as good as them.", "Your work is garbage.", "Just quit." I have had so many new and aspiring photographers come to my seminars or email me asking me, "How do you deal with comparing yourself to other photographers?" Truth is, I still have them every now and then just like I am experiencing now. It never truly goes away. As artists, we always strive to be the best we can be. And sometimes that means we become negative about our own work. So how do you fight the voices?
Typically, after a shoot and I have downloaded the images, I walk away. I go do something completely different. I stay off instagram, I stay off Facebook. I walk my dog or watch TV. I get away from what I've just created and do something else. The next day, I sit down with a clear mind and start going through the images. I go through my images really fast, and if one catches my eye I stop and go back to it. Thats how I know I've captured something with a 'WOW' factor. Then I just start editing. I could edit for hours sometimes and then other times, I'm done within thirty minutes. If I don't have a shoot to edit and I'm struggling with doubting myself, I pull up a previous shoot that I absolutely adore and start a new edit. This always helps bring me back to, "You are talented. You are creative. You can do this." I'll also set up new shoots. Get some friends, models and makeup artists you trust and love working with. Try new things. If it works, great! If not, oh well. You tried. It keeps the creativity flowing. Shoot a different genre. I took my dog out a few nights ago and just snapped some pictures of her for fun and it honestly started to make me a feel better.
The inner voices will always try to tear you down. That's what we artists have to deal with on a daily basis, we can be our own worst enemy. But if we step away for a bit, clear our minds, come back and try new things...we grow to be even stronger. So, since I'm struggling with this at the moment...I'm going to go walk my puppy, sit and feel my baby kick, dance to some music and then sit down and start editing. I may like the outcome, I may not and end up restarting. But I'm going to keep going until I prove those voices wrong.
Never give up. Because if you do, you are letting your inner saboteur win. And we can't allow that to happen.
Until next time,