“It’s just really hard to not compare myself and where I’m at to other photographers. I guess I’m just in this weird creative funk right now and it’s hard to explain that to someone who isn’t in the industry” – text I received from the sweetest photographer I know
I think we’ve all been there at some point, and if you’re like me, more than once. In fact, about a year ago from now, I wrote a post similar to this one, but just a little more vague because I didn’t want to give off the wrong impression. I realize that this post may not be liked by everyone, and that’s okay. If I can reach out to just a couple of people, that would be a blessing. That’s okay with me. This photography journey… it’s a bumpy one. It’s full of those wonderful oh-my-gosh-I-LOVE-this moments but it also has those not so wonderful why-am-I-even-doing-this moments. Those are the moments that make you believe that you’re not good enough. Those are the moments that shake you to your core. Those are the moments that make you question yourself and your work. Although I do believe that it’s important for every artist to want to strive to be better, that kind of motivation should come from within. So here we go.
If you struggle with feeling “not good enough” or that your creative soul has been a little broken, here are some of the things that I have done to help myself with the issue:
- Unfollow other photographers on Facebook. I don’t suggest unliking their pages, but if you choose the unfollow option, they will no longer appear in your newsfeed. That way, you can visit their pages and enjoy their work as you wish, instead of being slammed with a million photographs that are not your own.
- Unfollow photography on Pinterest. For similar reasons as Facebook, it’s helpful to unfollow photography on Pinterest. As a photographer, I’m sure you’ve encountered clients who send you pins as ideas for their upcoming photo session. I have a very sensitive heart and when this happens, my mind tends to lead to thoughts such as, “well if they love all of these photographers, what made them choose me?”… so I remind my clients of my own personal style and that I will use their suggestions for inspiration, but I will not blantantly copy a fellow photographer’s work.
- Watch who your Facebook friends are. I’m in the process of “cleaning out” my personal Facebook friend’s list. I am letting go of people who I have not had any kind of interaction with in the past year. If they are not a friend in real life, they have no place in my personal Facebook friend’s list.
- Give yourself some love. I choose one form of social media, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and I just spend time going through my OWN posts. I reflect on moments in my life (whether they are photography-related or not). It can be eye-opening in the best way. I make it a point to do this once a week.
- Limit your time on social media. This is the BEST tip I can give you and it has completely shifted my own mood. To be honest, this is a great tip for everyone. Studies show that social media actually leads us to being more sad and less satisfied. Makes sense, right? I limit my social media usage to just one hour a day, and I hope to work towards even less than that. I know that as a photographer, this one is really difficult if Facebook is how you do most of your business, but answering messages and scrolling aimlessly through the newsfeed are two totally different things. And I’m guilty of getting easily distracted. I try to answer messages several times a day and log off immediately afterwards.
I hope that you find some of these tips useful. I’ve found that these tips have worked really well for me. If you have any suggestions of your own, I would love to hear about them in the comments!
We are all on our own paths, exploring what makes our hearts flutter and refining what we do best. Stick to your journey. Don’t question it and don’t give up. Your work is YOUR OWN. And that’s better than anything that I can think of.
P.S. I adore you, Ali