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.


  1. Really love this - needed to hear it in fact!!! Thank you Rosie - for all that you do. Other Photographers may not take the time to inspire and help others, but you do. So thank you!

  2. Thank you for these words. I needed this today.


  3. Thank you Rosie
    I needed to read this! Your words were so simple yet it makes so much sense. Thank you! :)

  4. I am so so glad i saw this, i did photography in college and love arranging shoots, but i see other peoples work who where on my college course and they're so much more talented and better at it than me and i feel so so down when i see how popular their images are and feel i'm not good enough, but now i've read this i feel a little more positive :)

  5. I love this post so much!!! Thank you, Rosie!!!

  6. Such good stuff, Rosie! I know I definitely struggle with this and I've shot for free before when I probably should have charged just because I was so insecure.

    I adore your stuff and maybe it's selfish but I'm really glad to hear that even the pros struggle with this stuff. :)

  7. Well said Rosie! I'm with you!

  8. Rosie, YOU ARE GREAT!
    Thank you so much for the encouragement!

  9. Thank you so much for your words, I really needed to read this!

  10. Wow. It's 2am after half a night full of doubts.
    Thank you for this.
    Exactly what I needed to hear!!
    Perfect timing and perfectly put.

  11. Wonderful post Rosie! Great words to live by in any creative profession for sure!

  12. Hi Rosie,
    What an encouraging post! I really needed the boost of confidence today.
    Thank you for constantly sharing your photographs, words and thoughts.
    You have inspired me to become a better photographer each day.
    I hope to see more of your work and please don't ever stop doing photography!

    Thia @ The Tale Thief

  13. Thank you Rosie! I have been questioning my skills for the past few months. You encouraged me. xoxo

  14. Thank you so so much for this ... I feel like in today's day and age, everyone is comparing themselves to others and it's just so tiring to do that. It's really hard to think that it's okay that I'm not that good yet or that not many people care for my work. It's hard to think that maybe it's just taking me longer to become decent at what I want to do. Some people just bloom later. It's hard to stay positive about your work, especially when there are SO MANY photographers out there--and so many good ones too. But, I guess the sooner we learn that we really are good enough, the sooner we become better.

    Also, you're one of the first people who made me see that photography was actually an art form (I was a freshman in high school and didn't know anything about the world, haha), so thank you also for sparking an interest in me that has literally changed my life. You're awesome. :)

  15. thank you, for your words. I'm a young Italian photographer, and I often feel that I'm not good enough. But your post, has illuminated me.
    Thank you, a lot.

  16. You're really talented girl :)

  17. Thank you for the encouragement and confidence boost! You are amazing!

  18. You are a truly talented photographer with a very insightful message.

  19. Such good info, love it!!!!

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  21. I only just found your blog and this is the first post I've read. I haven't seen any images from you, except the one I saw on Facebook that lead me here, and those included in this post. None of that really matters, because you taking the time to encourage everyone reading this post, (non-experienced) photographer or not, is incredibly kind. This are some massive and inspiring words and this post alone, to me, makes you a heck of an awesome person and I'm a fan of you already.

    Thank you, so much, for sharing these words and for taking the time to hand out a word of encouragement. :)

    Best wishes.

  22. Thank you so much for this, Rosie! I really needed this... Your kind and inspirational words have definitely raised me back up<3

  23. Thank you, Rosie, for these true words. I totally agree with you.
    And I really needed to hear this for one more time - You Are Great!))
    Best wishes from Ukraine,

  24. Oh Gosh Rosie. I needed this. :) Hope to be able to attend one of your workshops! Hopefully if you drop by Singapore someday, do let me know! :D

  25. Rosie, you're the absolute best in every way, thanks so much for your inspiring words and always beautiful pictures =)


  26. Rosie, you are amazing. Your work, your words...truly inspiring. This was a something we all needed to read...thank you for your inspiration & encouragement. {{You are great}} :)

  27. this is a lovely post...I needed to hear this. You are a brilliant photographer, I like the way you describe it as a journey. x

  28. Fantastic words, you and your phothos are really inspiratonal!!

  29. thank you so much for this post! it is a comfort to know that a photographer as fantastic as you has had moments of self doubt. I recently had an issue with negative feedback. Initially I was heart broken because I knew that the photos I produced were my best and I was actually really happy about them. Looking back on it now, I know I could have done better in some areas but that comes from experience. All I can do is my best at the time. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your lovely advice :)
    Much love from the US,
    Sarah :)

  30. Your such an inspiration to not only us aspiring photographers but to everyone. Its nice to know i'm not alone in not feeling good enough. After reading this i am going to try and stop being so negative and hard on myself. I am learning all the time, i may not be the best but i'm progressing with every shoot. Your support and help is what pushes me forward personally knowing that someone as amazing and talented as you started out at the same position as me and has felt the feelings i'm feeling.

    I'm so excited to come along to your workshop in May 2014, Manchester and learn alot more.

    In my opinion Experience over rules a degree :)

  31. Such a good post. At the end of the day we all start somewhere as you've shown with your pictures above but if we really love what we do then we'll continue to learn and improve. It's really sad that the photographer got a hard time from her clients but they should have had a good look at her work. It was so sad to read her experience! I'm someone who doubts herself quite a lot at times but for now I'm a total beginner to photography and I've booked myself on to a 10 week photography course as well as ask around on Twitter for bloggers who would like to model for me so I can learn! Wish me luck :D x

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