Self Doubt Starting Out

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I love photography. I love it so much it hurts. Literally. I love it so much I am filled with anxiety when I dare call myself a photographer. And I so want to call myself a photographer. The more I look at other photographer’s work the more I question my own ability. Yet looking at other photographer’s work teaches me so much about photography so I have to look at it. I love looking at it. I can’t actually stop looking at it. I am in deep trouble.

I know I can take a decent shot, even though it kills me to admit it. People have told me, and they seem to have good vision, some of them are even professional photographers. Yet, I can barely breathe when I think about it too much. Should I have studied photography (more than a module on an art foundation course and a few workshops)? Should I have a photography qualification? Should I just give in to my anxiety and resort to watching crap TV instead? I want to say no.

I could wait until I’m ‘ready’ before I create a portfolio. Maybe I should wait for the self doubt to pass, be more confident, grow some photography balls. Thing is if I wait until I’m ready I’m not sure I ever will be. Being ready means staying in my comfort zone, resisting change, denying the possibility of opportunity. I need to punch anxiety in the face and stand up, camera clutched in my hands, and whether I think I should allow myself to believe it or not – say: I am a photographer.

There I’ve said it. And yes I still feel anxious. But I have done it. I have spent weeks creating a portfolio, agonising over what images to include (I’m still not sure I’ve got it right), weeks of finding an excuse why it wasn’t quite ready yet, weeks of procrastinating… I am terrified. But, whether it’s ready or not, it is ready. You can even see it for yourself by clicking on the link in the menu…

You may not like my work (please like my work), you may wonder why I would dare to think I’m good enough to have a portfolio (it’s OK I think this too) and you may laugh at my attempt to move from being an amateur snapper to becoming a pro (I’m laughing too but it’s nervous laughter).

I am a photographer. Breathe.

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