“You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
In my quest to become a better photographer, fear is my biggest obstacle. Fear of not being good enough, fear of putting my images out into the world, fear of rejection. It’s kind of interesting to me that fear has played such a big role in my development, as I initially thought the technical aspects of photography would be the most challenging and terrifying.
The fear starts from the beginning. Once I am at a workshop, the little voices start: “You only have a Nikon D90,” or “You don’t have any fixed f-stop lenses.” In my mind, this means I’m far out of my league and causes me to try to make myself blend into the background. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about this because I know fear is holding me back.
Recently, with the help of my amazing partner, I was able to visit my daughter for parents’ weekend and then head for New York City for the PhotoPlus Expo. Being in New York was a great opportunity to spend time with my baby sister and learn a lot at the expo, but soon after planning the trip, my fear set in.
I am proud to say that I just did it, despite all of the fears that made me want to cancel. And it was well worth it. There where demos from the likes of Joe McNally and Scott Kelby and his team. I wandered from booth to booth, checking out the latest gear, watching demos, and even running across a few familiar faces. I went to two after parties, and I was able to grab dinner with none other than Pete Collins, Jeremy Coward, and Brad Moore. Even better than dinner with these amazing photographers was our discussion about fear.
Pete had a great quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Our conversation centered around how easy it is to compare ourselves in this age. How do we stay true to ourselves with social media? Are we constantly in search of “likes” and comments for validation?
I know I feel a sense of relief when someone likes my work, which is probably why I often struggle at that moment before I send my work into the universe. Should I or shouldn't I send it out? What if its not as good as I think it is?
I know I have a way to go with my relationship with fear, but I think I am on the right path. I have found my new motto to help keep me on track:
Alis volat propriis
“She flies with her own wings.”
Here's to flying high...happy shooting!