Self portrait with post processing done with Perfect Photo Suite 7 software

I am the first to admit that I am my own worst enemy. My harshest critic. I hold myself to such a high standard, and when I don't feel I meet my own expectations, I want to shrink into absolute oblivion. 

I'd recently been showered with high praise from a number of sources on the >>maternity shoot I did with Erica<<. People were saying how my photos looked more professional. How obvious my growth was. How experienced my work looked. And I was feeling pretty good about myself. Heck, yeah. Pat myself on the back. I diiiiiid that! Get it girlfraaaan!!! Then came the shoot I did with my coworker and her husband this past Monday night. What a blow to my confidence. 

It was then that I knocked myself down off my own high horse. It was then that I actually realized the reason my photos looked more professional is because THEY WERE PROFESSIONAL. They had already been done before. Erica had come to me with a number of poses she liked, and, well.. we basically just recreated them. I mean, don't get me wrong. We did come up with some of our own along the way, but we used the the poses as guidelines. Heavily. 

My Shoot with Erica

I realized last Monday night, that when it came time for me to come up with my own shoot- from beginning to end, using my own look and my own setting and my own ideas, I was not quite there yet. I thought I was prepared. I mean, I had some cute ideas, but after the makeup was done and we started shooting, it seemed I just ran out of ideas. Pretty quick. I've shot with Erica now four times, so we kind of know how to work together. The familiarity makes things a little easier. We aren't scared to try something. If it works, it works. If not, oh wells. I realized I'm not so confident doing that with "new clients".  And when I ran out of the three wonderful poses I had envisioned in my mind, both I and the client ended up looking at each other with a "Now, what?" look. And I started to feel less than. I started to doubt myself. I started to wonder why I was even fooling myself into thinking I'm a photographer.

Inspiration Photo via Pinterest

I get frustrated that being a photographer doesn't come to me as naturally as I thought it would or should. I know I shouldn't be too hard on myself. The fact of the matter is that I have only been doing this for barely ten months, yet I expect my work and my ideas to look like someone who's been doing this for years. I expect my workflow to be seamless from one pose to the next, from one location to the next, from one wardrobe change to the next. I expect every shot I take to be useable. I expect my lighting set up to be the most flattering. And I feel pressured because I feel the client expects that of me as well. Every time. When the fact remains that all of those things come with time and experience. I need to realize that I am still a beginner and should judge myself on that scale. I'm growing. I'm a novice. People should understand that. I should understand that. I should understand that people understand that. I jokingly tell my clients that I can guarantee ONE good shot out of the session and if I get that one shot, I feel I've done my job. I guess that's kind of my way of saying, "I'm trying, but, heeey, ya know..."

By this time next year, my pictures should show some improvement. But right now, I just need to realize where I am, realize that it's a process, realize that it's a learning experience, and realize that perfection comes with time. I mean even the most professional of professional photographers had to start somewhere. Right?


Let me know what you think! But please be nice. Being negative is just no fun. K?