Today’s post is 2-fold!
I’ve had lots of people asking recently about how I got started in photography, and about my journey to here… so I wanted to share!
And seccondly, I’ve noticed a lot of conversations amongst our students that one of the biggest challenges they’re facing… it’s not what shutter speed to choose… but the curse of comparisons!
And I felt that it was important that I jot these thoughts down for once!
I’m sharing my thoughts on just how to manage the internal criticisms BUT also I’m showing you that I didn’t start out taking the photos like I do today. In fact it took me a good while… and that’s why I designed my courses the way I have… so that your progress can be a lot faster than mine 😉
Seeing the amazing work of other photographers and beating ourselves up saying ‘I’m just not as good as that’! I have totally been there…and it still happens to me every now and then when I’m over-awed at amazing work my idol photographers produce.
As photographers, or anyone who’s a passionate creative, we need to step back, ditch the comparisons, and take stock to see how far we’ve come!
If you find yourself comparing your work, getting down because you’re just not ‘there’ yet.. then this post is for you! It takes time, and practice, and the journey isn’t a race! So stepping back in time several years and here is my own progression of photos!
One of the best things about photography is that there’s always something new to learn, to try, and to be inspired by to pick up the camera and jump out shooting!
So what can you do?
Here’s my top two pieces of advice:
#1 Use your frustration and that hunger to get better to actually fuel yourself, to try new things, to push yourself creatively and to simply get out there more and pick up your camera!
#2 Celebrate your images and actually sit down and reflect on your journey and how far you’ve come… as my third grader spouted recently in fleeting moment of wonder at the dinner table: “Mum, its not about being better than anyone else, it’s about being better than the person you were yesterday”... Ok kid, if you say so!
Because we all start somewhere (see below… my true before-befores!)
I was a mum, with a camera!
& super cute kids to capture photos of (no bias, LOL)!
I realised I wanted to take great photos – and so I played around!
I knew it had something to with ‘the light’ but just couldn’t quite figure it out!
But just that curiosity to find out more, and knowing that my camera could create beautiful shots, set me on a path to try and figure it out…
I wanted to crack the puzzle, and I became hungry for everything photography!
We moved to the US in late 2009 and that was the year I finally had the opportunity to throw myself into learning!
I picked up hints and tips along the way…
and was stoked when I bought my Nifty Fifty, I was discovering the beautiful blur and bokeh that I could create…
but I was still missing ‘the light’ and so they still didn’t look quite right!
Taken on the 4th of July in 2010.
I was insanely in love with this picture.. of course I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the delicious summery light that makes it what it is!
I started to experiment!
I was learning about settings and composition and bravely trying out manual mode!
Slowly but surely it all started falling into place, and most importantly I began to start ‘seeing’ the light!
Oh the difference it made!
I looked for it everywhere, but I daresay it was around this time I must have also watched a tutorial on how to ‘enhance eyes’.. gulp!
Sticking to clean processing is always advised..
Oh my poor grey/yellow babies, let’s call this a ‘phase’ I went through… 😉
Finally, however, I started to see progress and was becoming encouraged that the lessons I’d been studying were making sense…
and I practiced, practiced, practiced!
By this time I’d also acquired a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens having such a beautiful quality lens in comparison to my kit lenses were making a beautiful difference to my images. (This was my round border phase!!)
Simple compositions, beautiful soft light, manual settings and clean edits were all sinking in! Xx
So when we returned to Australia in 2011 I kept practicing on my girls…
As my girls kept growing.
I kept practicing!
We moved to the beach, I kept playing with light… and now I’m insanely lucky that I get to do what I love for a job!
So there you have it – I shared!
I feel like this is just a fraction of the story, but suffice to say there were tears, and tantrums, and moments of ‘why don’t I GET this?’ But I’ve discovered, that if you’re frustrated, it’s because you’re hungry for it!
And if you’re hungry for it, and you keep picking up that camera, you WILL get there!
It’s practice, and pushing yourself, and stepping outside your comfort zone! It’s not being afraid to fail, and taking horrible photos that you hate.. because we’ve all been there, but for every time you create something you will keep growing!
And so this has been fun to reflect, but I hope it also helps you see that there’s a process, and a path to follow and that it encourages you to keep going.
The BEST part though… is that I can see now that my love for photography has given me the most precious gift of all, the photos I’ve captured of my kids as they’ve grown!
Oh – and we moved back to the US, I had another baby, and back to Oz again… it’s been a busy few years.
hehe… but my lucky lil guy – he gets the great photos right from the start… and my lil girls are almost grown up!
If you want to hear more of my story and my simple tips so you can strat your own transformation… check out my new onlin workshop – it’s totally free and you can register here.