Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Am I Good Enough?

Okay, so I have an urge to write about this.

Here's some music to accompany.

Am I good enough?

It's the eternal question we all ask ourselves, photographer or not, have we met the expectations needed to run a business? To charge people money? To give advice? To consider a change? 

I remember when I first started offering workshops, someone wrote online
"What makes you think you are qualified to teach workshops?"

When I first read it, my heart sank and I thought, they have a point. I'm not qualified. I don't have a degree, I don't know much except what I know, and maybe my work isn't that good after all. Maybe I'm not good enough?

I went on and taught the workshop. Looking back, it maybe wasn't the best workshop ever - but I learned SO much. I learned that if people want to come, they will come. The workshop was full. I also learned to cap how many people I have on a workshop, haha. I learned that people don't care for what I don't know - they wanted to know how I made the images I made. And because I made them, I could explain.

At the end, I asked for advice on how to improve. And everyone was kind and constructive. And I learned.

If you ask yourself, am I good enough? Let me answer for you. You Are Good Enough. As long as you are still willing to learn.

Today, I got a rather sad message to my Facebook photography group. 

(name has been blurred for her privacy)

And I felt so sad. 
It seems everyone I meet is trying SO hard to be good enough, they are working for cheap (this lady worked for less than £1 per image she delivered to her clients) and yet this doubt is creeping over all of us. In my opinion, it is the client's responsibility to check out your work - check it out as deeply as they would like. Ask to see 10 images, or ask to see an entire wedding, or 10. I don't mind. But don't complain if you don't look at any of my wedding photography and then say you are upset because I didn't photoshop butterflies in your hair and have you levitating down the aisle.

We are good enough.
"Every great photographer was once an amateur."

Ok so fair, I wouldn't recommend charging £2k for a wedding when you haven't shot one before. I wouldn't recommend promising photos in the style of Jonas Peterson when you are more traditionally minded and own a point and shoot, because that won't turn out well. But don't you dare stop aspiring to be as good as Jonas. 

So, I'm going to ask that everyone today who wonders if they are good enough, stop for a sec. 
You are great.
And there is nothing stopping you from being the best, except telling yourself that you aren't or can't be.

Here's where I started.

These are two sample of the awesome skill I had when I first started taking pictures. I can sense your awe and amazement across the computer waves, please stop, you're making me blush.

But really. 

If I had let every negative comment, or doubt, or insult, or hate campaign stop me (and there are days where I gave up, and days where I believed they were right, and days where I truly and utterly believed there was no place for me) then I wouldn't have made it to where I am now.

And I KNOW that I am only going to get better, I am only going to be exploring and learning and always improving. And I will probably look back, and think you know what, I was pretty rubbish, but I was good enough.