But there are ways to build your confidence that I have found really work when I’ve needed a boost…
1. Look Back!
Dig out some of your earliest photos, and compare them side by side with your most recent work. Learning anything is a journey and photography is no exception… look how far you’ve come along the way! You can stickybeak at my journey here (bad photos and all!)
Celebrating your growth as a photographer is so important to helping you move forward!
2. Feel the Love!
Take notice of the reactions people experience when they see your photos. If a creative work causes an emotion (good or bad) it’s considered art.
If your images are causing joy, people are enjoying the photos you take of their kids and family, or you’re even loving them yourself… embrace it!
Say a gracious ‘thank-you’, and resist the urge to add “oh but…”
When I really started improving in photography I struggled to see anything but the errors.
I’d say “Oh thanks, I’m glad you like it… but, I just didn’t get the light right/the expression I wanted/ the angle that would have looked better” etc etc I found it hard to accept praise or positive feedback… because I knew my photos were getting better, but I wasn’t. there. yet…
But here’s the rub… there is no final destination, no point at which our images all become perfect.
The secret is learning to love the process! Celebrating your growth (hello tip #1), graciously basking in the compliments (go on, give it a try!) and being ok to step outside your comfort zone and try new things!
There’s no better way (& really it’s the only way) to improve your skills and develop your creativity than by practicing, and practicing and… yep, practicing.
Photography anything and everything and don’t overthink it!
Join a community of photographers… in fact, you’re invited to come join ours!! Or perhaps there’s a local camera club in your area… but post images and seek genuine feedback. There’s nothing like a bit of unbiased positive critique to boost your confidence!
5. Push Yourself!
When you stick with what you know, you’ll fall into that dreaded photographic rut. Read articles, get out there and extend yourself to learn something new… you might have an aha! moment, and they are amazing confidence builders, not to mention a great way to renew your passion!
6. Embrace your Mistakes!
When learning anything new, mistakes teach us what not to do. Then the next time we get the camera out, we’ve advanced a little.
Embrace your mistakes, they are not failures, they’re a step forward in our learning journey!
7. Accept your Inner Photographer!
Say it outloud and say it proud… (yes, right now!) “I. Am. A. Photographer!”
I don’t care if your camera is 10 years old or 10 days old… whether you have all the fancy gear, or you’re rocking it with your kit lens… I’m giving you permission to say it and own it and run in that direction toward your goals!
Maybe you’ve been approached by a friend who loves your photos to take some shots of her family, and you replied with a resounding “yes! yes!”. Then the week before the butterflies kick in, you ask yourself “what on earth was I thinking?!”, and you consider multiple ways to get out of the session. Am I right? Remember this… your friend already loves your work, firstly. Secondly, you will deliver better photos than they can take themselves… am I right?
With all that you’ve learned so far, you KNOW you can do at least that!
8. Keep Learning
Absorb everything you can and seek out photography resources! Consider joining in on a workshop, a photo walk or a short course! We obviously know a great one, but when opportunities present themselves then jump for it!
9. Own Your own Style
Feed your artistic soul by recognising and appreciating you have a unique style. Make a storyboard of all your recent favourite images and take note of the elements they have in common. Look for recurring themes such as your subjects, your composition, your lighting or colour choices, your editing, your perspective, the mood you capture, etc.
The very act of appreciating you have a recognisable style is a sure fire confidence booster.
10. Perfectly Imperfect!
Photography is not always about being technically perfect. Sometimes the moment, the mood or an expression is the most important thing, and capturing that when it happens is paramount to anything else.
Some of the greatest photos in the world are technically imperfect but they’re beautiful and widely loved because of what was captured, not how it was captured.
Accept & embrace imperfection!
Ready for More?
Are you feeling ready to push yourself creatively, advance your technical understanding of your camera and wanting to take your photography to the next level?