Remember Your “Why” – Forgetting this ONE Thing can Keep you From Living Your Dream!
Do you ever feel like you’re just “off” or not yourself?
This was a blog post that happened to be unnervingly easy to write, but I knew it would take more than just myself to actually post it. There are fears and unknowns that I have an incredibly difficult time sharing, but I felt that maybe some people felt the same way about certain aspects of their lives. Even though this post may be lengthy, it’s a piece that I hope you can read through and relate to.
So here it goes.
If you’re like me, you sometimes get caught up in having the newest gear, learning the newest techniques, comparing your work/abilities to another, doubting yourself because you don’t have the newest, top of the line equipment. You spend more time looking up the technical specs of the latest trends and trying to get your photos/work out there as fast as possible because if you don’t, you’ll never make it. “I just can’t get the right shot, there’s too much this, I don’t have enough of this, I can’t do it because I don’t have the experience, if I don’t get this many likes on my posts, I’m just not doing the right thing” Sound familiar?
Well, these are thoughts that have taken over my mind and spirit for the past couple months. I have gotten SO unbelievably caught up in the reasons I can’t do something that I have completely forgotten the reason I even started in the first place. As a photographer in a world where digital media, social media, and blogging has saturated the market place, it has been so easy to just take one look online and think, “What makes me think I can even get my foot in the door in this?! There is simply nothing special about what I have to offer!” With SO much out there, how can I even believe that I would even have a chance at creating all the beautiful images out there? How do I book clients when there are SO many photographers out there that are doing the exact same thing? What would make them hire me instead of somebody else out there who has been doing it forever?
Although the Internet has provided me with incredibly useful information and has contributed to enhancing my skills as a photographer, it has unfortunately fed into my increased self-doubt of my work. So much so that it had decreased my motivation to even learn more about my own camera and even go out and take photos. I didn’t want to ask questions anymore for fear of just getting absolutely annihilated by the competition. I felt completely overwhelmed. I don’t have all the fancy gear and with everything being so incredibly expensive (which, they should be considering the amount of work it takes to even create that type of technology), how can I even advance? These photographers online have all this gear, while I have hardly any of it. What’s my edge? What is going to separate me from everybody else? My focus has become so honed in on trying to make a something of myself instead of just being myself.
I think we all do this to a certain extent. The reason I started even doing any kind of photography was because I just LOVED documenting the life around me and reliving those stories when I got to look back at them at a later time. My dad used to photograph everything as my sister and I grew up and today, we look back at all those photos and remember the emotions we had back then. These past few months, I haven’t even done any of that. I was so focused on getting the settings right, making sure the photos were perfectly composed, and that these were pictures I would be able to sell. With everything becoming so technical, I have admittedly become so overwhelmed that I actually ended up resenting going in and editing photos and even taking them. Because in my head, what was the point? They were pictures that weren’t technically right and would be heavily criticized because my shadows were too dark, the photo wasn’t sharp enough, or the lighting was way off.
What was supposed to be a platform of an abundance of help and insight, the internet had fed into my insecurities and they have created a monster in which had caused me to become unmotivated to even try. I didn’t love it anymore! The worst part? It was all completely self inflicted. My point in writing this is not to be a diatribe about how modern technology is a hindrance or to say that we should never try to learn new and challenging things to widen our skill set; my point is to challenge not only you, but myself as well, to not allow all the tutorials and critiques to make you feel like your work is unacceptable. Whether it’s photography or whatever you love, don’t forget why you started doing it in the first place.
Today, I am remembering why I even decided to start up a business in photography.
It is because I loved reliving moments in time. I believed that photos are time machines. They take you back to places you never thought you could get back to. They are snapshots of people’s lives that allow you into their little bit of history. They show you how you got where you are today. I believed that one person could never have too many pictures. Life is so precious and so short, but I believe that we can extend it by reaching back into history and reliving the memories that we, and many others before us, have created.
There’s MAGIC in a photo. Not from the perfectly composed, perfectly lit photo that a $7,000 piece of equipment you had just purchased… I believe a photo has the power to bring to life a part of your existence that maybe your own brain couldn’t itself remember. It has the power to draw more than just a memory in your mind, but it can put you in touch with your spirit. It can bring people together… It can connect you to a world that has long passed… I truly believe that a photo can leave your mark on this world and I can leave a legacy for many generations to come. It is with THIS realization is when I dropped all the cares about having all of the fancy equipment and the best technique.
That magic I found when I first started taking photos is and WILL be why I will continue to take photos. It is with those beliefs where I know I can leave my mark on this earth.
THIS is why I started.
REMEMBER YOUR “WHY” :)
Keywords: Art, Family, Figure Skating, Photography, Travel, art, Motivation, passion, San Diego, Skating
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