(and to everyone else who’s ready to throw in the towel)
Dear, Me: The Beginner,
Let me start by congratulating you on taking the leap! You’ve finally decided to take control of your life, your happiness, how you make your money. And, no matter how many times you’ve tried to convince yourself you’d be happy behind a desk, or taking care of patients, or driving to and from your 9 to 5, you’ve always dreamed of being your own boss. Look at you now! You are on your way to the dream.
Now, I know you’re feeling discouraged and doubtful- but you, my darling, are BRAND NEW! Photography is not a skill you’ve had your whole life. It’s not something you can learn in a couple of days or months, or even a year. Anyone can learn to work an iPhone camera in seconds these days, but not everyone can pick up the difficulty of a full frame DSLR at the drop of a hat. So, do us both a favor: take a deep breath and cut yourself some slack. You’re asking yourself way too many questions at once:
“How am I going to book clients? I’ll never make any money if people don’t want my photos.”
“What’s my “style” of photography? Should I just pick one that everyone seems to like?”
“Why didn’t I start sooner? Why didn’t I take classes in college?”
I’ll be honest. You’re going to continue to ask yourself new questions every single day. But each answer you come across is going to take you one step further into building the life you’ve always envisioned for yourself. Let me provide you with the answers I’ve come across thus far.
It may not seem like it now, but you WILL book clients. Think of how many people you know. How many Facebook friends do you have? How many people are following you on Instagram? Use who’ve you’ve got in front of you! Let your loved ones know your dream. Practice on them! There are more people cheering you on than you think.
PLEASE stop googling all the different editing styles of photography and how to achieve each look. I’m begging you- stop it. You can compare the differences between Light/Airy photos to those of Dark/Moody photos to those to your own photos all day and night. I can promise you that trying to mimic someone else’s work will not give you the satisfaction you’re so desperately after. Play around with your camera settings and every slider you see in your editing program. Edit your heart out until find images YOU love- ones YOU are proud of. Have patience- you will find what you’re looking for. When you do, you’ll be thrilled to book your ideal client who loves your style just as much as you.
What you’ve done, or not, up until this point does.not.matter.
Let’s say that louder for the people in the back…
IT DOES NOT MATTER.
What’s important is that you’ve begun, you’re committed, and you’re learning. No more comparing yourself and your age to other photographers, business owners, and boss babes. Comparison is the thief of joy, my dear. Remember that.
In the coming months, you’re going to GROW. You’ll get more comfortable with your camera. Your knees will stop shaking when you walk into a shoot. You’ll stop freezing when your clients say, “just tell us what to do.” Soon you will be booking all kinds of families, couples, newborns, seniors, weddings (wait, what?!), and WHATEVER else you feel like photographing. Take another breath for me. You are going to make it, love.
You: The Photographer