3 Ways to Conquer Your Doubts and Improve Your Creative Confidence
If anyone considers herself the queen of self-doubt, it’s me. I have had a passion for photography since I could hold a roll of film and use a water proof disposable camera. However, over the years, I’ve let doubt settle in and convince me that I’m not “good enough” at taking pictures, which has resulted in the following:
· Ending perfectly good blogs
· Saying no to a photo shoot
· Re-editing a photo repeatedly
· Convincing myself they “wouldn’t like the photos”
· Not sharing the images
· Stopping photography completely
Looking back at each of the above, I can see how heavily my doubts played a part in what I would consider some of my greatest failures. As I’ve grown older, these doubts have not left my side. If anything, this age of social media gives me even more reason to listen to the voices my doubts stream like a Spotify playlist in my head.
Nonetheless, no matter how often I might feel otherwise, all hope is not lost. I know that I am called by the Creator to create, so I always find myself picking up my camera and trying again. Below are four helpful tips I find myself frequenting in order to help silence my doubts and get back my creative confidence.
1. Listen to Your Customers
If you have customers, you have someone who has bought into what you can give them. Whether that’s a physical object, pieces of advice, photos or food, people are willing to pay you for a reason! If you have customers, you have something to offer, and that says a lot about how capable you truly are.
2. Create for Fun
My favorite shoots are always the spontaneous ones. When we’re finding our passions, we aren’t doing them for money. We’re doing them because we’re curious and inspired and want to bring something new to the table. As cliché as it is, remember why you started. And while you’re at it, try practicing that new skill you’ve been wanting to learn. Without the pressure of perfection or pleasing those around you, you’ll remember why you love what you do and grow while you’re doing it.
3. Seek Like-Minded Individuals
I always find myself befriending anyone in the room with a camera in tow. We immediately have a million things in common and topics of conversation are effortless. When you have one or two people around in the same profession you have someone to relate with as well as receive encouragement from. Almost all of my most treasured compliments have come from other photographers. Find people that can give the same to you.
BONUS: Pray About It
During my self-induced doubtful panics, I usually find myself crying to God for His peace. Once it washes over me, I’m reminded that nothing I do, say or create must be perfect (nor does he expect it to be). Only then am I able to recognize that more important than how any image turns out, is how I spend my time with the people I’m photographing.
A Real-Life Example
The below shoot of our dear friends, Amy and Blake, is just one of many times I’ve had to incorporate some of the above to combat my doubts. When Amy reached out to me requesting photos of her and her husband, I instantly felt doubtful I would be able to squeeze them into our crazy month of December.
We would be out of town every weekend of the month, but one of those weekends would be spent close by in Chattanooga, a location which I knew Amy and Blake loved. I went out on a limb and asked if they’d be interested in making the one-hour trip north for the shoot, and to my surprise they said yes!
Day of, I felt the familiar pre-photoshoot doubt sinking in. “I haven’t done very many couple sessions.” “Where should I pose them.” “Are all the settings on my new camera right?” “Will the location be good?” Amidst these thoughts, a quiet whisper squeezed through and said, “Why would someone drive completely out of their way and pay you if they didn’t believe in what you have to offer?” I immediately felt a deep sigh of relief and lifted my thanks to God for his everlasting peace and perfect timing.
By simply reminding myself that these people wanted ME to take their pictures, I was able to re-align my thought process from “will this photo shoot be perfect” to “how can I serve God through this time with my friends.”
A Message For The Creators
So, to the dear friend or total stranger struggling with doubts, know you aren’t alone. Know you have a fellow self-doubter who wrestles to find her creative confidence daily. I hope that as the doubts creep in, you can use one (or all) of the previous tactics above to stop them in their tracks and let the creative confidence take its rightful place within your soul.
Doubt less. Create more.
A final and sincere thank you to Amy and Blake who headed to Chattanooga, drove up a random mountain and placed their photos in my hands. You are wonderful models and even better friends. Enjoy their joyful faces below!
Amy + Blake
I’m a 25 year young, everything enthusiast. I am a passionate girl at heart, with a deep love of Jesus, family and friendships. Things that make my life joyful are #1 my husband #2 my dog #3 plants #4 my camera.
- Nov 14, 2018 Antonya + Kwab Engagement Session: Atlanta, Georgia
- Nov 14, 2018 Baker Wedding: Fayette, Alabama