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08/08/2006 05:52:30 AM · #1
I am probably not the first person to post something along these lines but I'm having a serious bout of 'I'm just not good enough' and I am interested in how others get around or get over this....

I have been into photography 'seriously', but as an amatuer, for about a year. I have learnt a huge amount from various websites and friends I have made, but the one thing I can't seem to find is confidence in my abilities.

I am extremely self-critical with my photography and even have a book with most of my images in and a list of things I'd like to do to improve the shots.

So my questions to you all are...

1) Am I alone or does everyone else feel like this at times?

2) How or where do you get the confidence to submit your images even when your feeling like every photo you take is just not good enough?

Would love to hear what others think :o)

Cheers for reading :o)
08/08/2006 06:00:46 AM · #2
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

1 - We are all human. We all have feelings. I have times I just hide in a corner and cry. I sit at this screen and I read what you all write...and I cry. I look at the bad votes I get...especially on my nude SP's...and I cry. I cry for the bad feeling I get on my image and the bad feeling I get on the votes on my body...even if they weren't intended that way. It hurts. I wonder...why do I bother. I see others receive praise for similiar achievements to myself...and I wonder why...what can I do that is better...what can I do to improve. What is wrong with me? Am I really that bad a person?

And then the next day I am ready to kick ass. I am okay. I am a person too...I am human. I can take a photo. I can help others. People do like my images...maybe not all...but some. My images touch people...in some small way. Not always....but every now and again someone writes to me and tell me that my images have touched them. Maybe in an emotional way...or maybe a humurous way....it doesn't matter. I touched them through my work.

I see the world differently to others. I want to show the world what I see and how I see it. You are different to. Show the world what you want to show them. It is in you. Let it out.

2 - You cannot buy confidence. It can't be given to you. You find it. It finds you. Those few little words that get spoken....mean so much. Those same words mean nothing to others...but to you...they are everything.

That smile that you just gave someone...made their eyes light up. That made you feel warm and fuzzy. It boosted your own confidence...through what you did for someone else. Now you can pick that camera up and show the world what you see.

There is no right and wrong....only opinions. And you have opinions. You have that right. Nobody has the right to tell others what their opinion should be. They will try....but smile. When you smile at an angry person...they can't stay angry for long.

SMILE
08/08/2006 06:16:07 AM · #3
I have been taking photos for over 30 years (not professionally) and I still have doubts of my abilities everytime I take up a camera. I am sometimes mildly successful with an image, BUT everything... EVERYTHING can be improved, and you will always say "if only..."

Isn't that the lot of the artist? Never satisfied? I suppose the day you're totally satisfied with your creativity is the day you die creatively... No more adventure, no more excitement at new experiments, no more searching for new ways of seeing things...

The trick is to use the doubts to fuel the learning and perfect the technique so you never lose a shot through lack of knowledge or skill. Or if you do (mistakes are good) knowing how to avoid repetition.

Hey, gone on too long! Cherish the doubts. It's how we grow.
08/08/2006 06:23:18 AM · #4
I didn't have to even read the rest of your post and i knew what you were talking about, im a amateur aswell who needs to get out more and practice at what i love..
We are first our own harshest critic, which is a good thing it makes us strive to do better.
We all start somewhere and without a beginning there can't be an end, it's a learning experience we all have/had to live and follow.
Just keep doing what you love best and shoot the things that inspire you, learn from your mentors and all will come together.
But never ever doubt yourself keep your dream alive..
08/08/2006 06:30:26 AM · #5
I too get in moods where the last thing I want to do is take pictures because I am sick of disappointing myself. Sometimes it is better to just leave the camera at home for a couple of days and just allow yourself to regroup and see life through your natural lenses. It can be really refreshing and is a wonderful way to re-group. Taking a short break from shooting is also a great opportunity to go through old batches of pictures that ypu may have shrugged off as unworthy days, weeks, months before. You may notice something or discover the beauty in a shot you had written off after just taking it.

Anyyyywayysss! That's what I do. Believe me girl, it certainly happens to the very best of us :) KEEP SMILIN'~

PS: i love your shots :)

Message edited by author 2006-08-08 06:45:54.
08/08/2006 06:44:33 AM · #6
Originally posted by Judi:

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

1 - We are all human. We all have feelings. I have times I just hide in a corner and cry. I sit at this screen and I read what you all write...and I cry. I look at the bad votes I get...especially on my nude SP's...and I cry. I cry for the bad feeling I get on my image and the bad feeling I get on the votes on my body...even if they weren't intended that way. It hurts. I wonder...why do I bother. I see others receive praise for similiar achievements to myself...and I wonder why...what can I do that is better...what can I do to improve. What is wrong with me? Am I really that bad a person?

And then the next day I am ready to kick ass. I am okay. I am a person too...I am human. I can take a photo. I can help others. People do like my images...maybe not all...but some. My images touch people...in some small way. Not always....but every now and again someone writes to me and tell me that my images have touched them. Maybe in an emotional way...or maybe a humurous way....it doesn't matter. I touched them through my work.

I see the world differently to others. I want to show the world what I see and how I see it. You are different to. Show the world what you want to show them. It is in you. Let it out.

2 - You cannot buy confidence. It can't be given to you. You find it. It finds you. Those few little words that get spoken....mean so much. Those same words mean nothing to others...but to you...they are everything.

That smile that you just gave someone...made their eyes light up. That made you feel warm and fuzzy. It boosted your own confidence...through what you did for someone else. Now you can pick that camera up and show the world what you see.

There is no right and wrong....only opinions. And you have opinions. You have that right. Nobody has the right to tell others what their opinion should be. They will try....but smile. When you smile at an angry person...they can't stay angry for long.

SMILE


Thanks Judi, great advice!! Its great to get other peoples views as I find it helps me to learn and grow as a person as well as with my photography :o) I'm going to try this 'Keep Smiling' thing :o)
08/08/2006 06:47:08 AM · #7
Originally posted by winstonedghill:

I have been taking photos for over 30 years (not professionally) and I still have doubts of my abilities everytime I take up a camera. I am sometimes mildly successful with an image, BUT everything... EVERYTHING can be improved, and you will always say "if only..."

Isn't that the lot of the artist? Never satisfied? I suppose the day you're totally satisfied with your creativity is the day you die creatively... No more adventure, no more excitement at new experiments, no more searching for new ways of seeing things...

The trick is to use the doubts to fuel the learning and perfect the technique so you never lose a shot through lack of knowledge or skill. Or if you do (mistakes are good) knowing how to avoid repetition.

Hey, gone on too long! Cherish the doubts. It's how we grow.


Hi Winston, thanks for your reply :o) I am so glad I started this thread as its good to know how other people cope with this self doubt!!! :o)

08/08/2006 06:56:18 AM · #8
Originally posted by tribal:

I didn't have to even read the rest of your post and i knew what you were talking about, im a amateur aswell who needs to get out more and practice at what i love..
We are first our own harshest critic, which is a good thing it makes us strive to do better.
We all start somewhere and without a beginning there can't be an end, it's a learning experience we all have/had to live and follow.
Just keep doing what you love best and shoot the things that inspire you, learn from your mentors and all will come together.
But never ever doubt yourself keep your dream alive..


Hi Rob, thanks for your reply :o) You are so right about it being a learning experience! Every photo I take I learn something new and its makes me strive for 'better' the next time! Thanks for your advice :o)
08/08/2006 07:00:10 AM · #9
Originally posted by shannylee13:

I too get in moods where the last thing I want to do is take pictures because I am sick of disappointing myself. Sometimes it is better to just leave the camera at home for a couple of days and just allow yourself to regroup and see life through your natural lenses. It can be really refreshing and is a wonderful way to re-group. Taking a short break from shooting is also a great opportunity to go through old batches of pictures that ypu may have shrugged off as unworthy days, weeks, months before. You may notice something or discover the beauty in a shot you had written off after just taking it.

Anyyyywayysss! That's what I do. Believe me girl, it certainly happens to the very best of us :) KEEP SMILIN'~

PS: i love your shots :)


Hey Shannylee, thanks for your reply and the lovely compliment about my photos :o)

I think my main trouble at the moment is I am in a Challenge with a friend of mine and I have to enter 1 challenge a week for 12 weeks here at DPC, we are only in week 4 and I am so disheartened :o( Everytime the new challenges are announced I think THIS will be the week I take a picture I am really happy with but it just doesn't happen!!

Thanks again for your reply :o)
08/08/2006 07:14:29 AM · #10
I was thinking about this the other day too.. I noticed that there were a couple of guys that sold off their stuff and cut back a lot lately because they were having such feelings...

For me though it's not about what others think and feel about my images...

I do it because I need to do something that I can appreciate about myself.

I have a pic ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/461/thumb/305665.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/461/thumb/305665.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' that illustrates this quite well.

I took it before I got my DSLR and technically speaking, it would be a simple matter to redo it with significantly better results... But I haven't got any desire to do so... Why? Simple. I took it for me...

I shot. I learned. I got what I wanted. The rest is irrelevant.

Now I need to find a way to move forward... There are lots of ways I can do that, but first, I need to find something that excites me. Something that interests me...

That will then kindle the desire in me to express, create and capture.

And it will be a reward in itself for me.

This type of shooting has its ups and downs.

On the other hand, challenges are more for other people. As is a lot of other stuff here on DPC.

Doing professional stuff is kinda the same... It will take you down the road where you need others to validate it for it to be worth anything.

I took a mess of pictures at some kids show and most of them sucked. It wasn't important. Why? I got paid.

That was the validation I needed from others...

Try to understand which group your pictures fall under...

There's nothing wrong with showing your pictures created for yourself to others, but ultimately, appreciating your own stuff will go a long way for your attitude towards shooting.
08/08/2006 07:30:11 AM · #11
I can't even tell you how much I know what you mean... I feel like this on a daily basis about pretty much everything artistic I study/attempt/have interest in. So far in life it's gotten the best of me every time and I've dropped what I've been doing and moved on somewhere else. I hope that it won't happen with photography... but who knows. Sometimes I think my brains not hardwired to stick with anything for too long before it either gets too frustrated or too bored...

btw Talj... Sheena - African Leopard is one of my favorite pics around ( just haven't marked it that way yet. I can't pass the thumbnail by without stopping to look at it some more. Everything about it (color, composition, the expression and body position of Sheena) is just great.

Also, 5 challenges with 3 on the positive side of 6... come on :) smile.

Mike
08/08/2006 08:04:55 AM · #12
I am very self-critical as well and am always doubting myself!! I have only been at this 2 yrs, but the confidence seems to improve with the more happy customers I have. I will say, being accepted as a freelance photographer for magazines and newspapers help...LOL It's nice when people review your work, and then decide to work with you!

I used to get so scared of screwing up that i would want to cancel my gigs. I still get nervous, but it's much better. I feel very akward answering the question, "Are you a professional" because I am not confident enough to say Yes.

You have some awesome images in your portfolio. You should be proud :)
08/08/2006 02:54:23 PM · #13
Thanks for your replies!

I have found the different ideas an viewpoints so helpful and as well as taking the time to SMILE (thanks Judi ;o) ) I am definitely going to start trying for the images I want, as you said Kieran its all about showing the world how each of us individually sees things! :o)

Also wanted to say thanks to you all for your nice comments on my photos, I'll keep on with what I do and try my best to only let the self critical, doubting side of me creep out occasionally ;o)


08/08/2006 03:08:53 PM · #14
I wouldn't worry about it too much. I think we all feel like that. I'm glad to see I'm not alone;) I think it just depends on the situation, I don't do well on this site, but I keep trying. Out in the real world thing are a tad different. I won a prize just over a week ago in a photography compitition and I'm a photographer (unpaid) for our campus paper. One of my non winning photo's is on display on campus at the moment. So I'm not doing too badly:) One needs downs to balance out those ups;)
08/08/2006 03:10:25 PM · #15
could someone please tell me what the yellow flag on the open challenge means? and what the difference between an open challenge and an exclusive open challenge is?
08/08/2006 03:39:01 PM · #16
Originally posted by Oddfrog:

I wouldn't worry about it too much. I think we all feel like that. I'm glad to see I'm not alone;) I think it just depends on the situation, I don't do well on this site, but I keep trying. Out in the real world thing are a tad different. I won a prize just over a week ago in a photography compitition and I'm a photographer (unpaid) for our campus paper. One of my non winning photo's is on display on campus at the moment. So I'm not doing too badly:) One needs downs to balance out those ups;)


Hey Laura thanks for your reply! :o) I suppose we all want to show people our work and have them like, and you are right, we do need downs to balance out the ups!! :o)

Certainly one of the main things I have learnt from this thread is to concentrate more on what I find enjoyable, the photos that please ME, at least that way I am showing the world something I am pleased with and that represents how I see things :o) (do hope that makes sense)
08/08/2006 03:45:58 PM · #17
Hey Laura thanks for your reply! :o) I suppose we all want to show people our work and have them like, and you are right, we do need downs to balance out the ups!! :o)

Certainly one of the main things I have learnt from this thread is to concentrate more on what I find enjoyable, the photos that please ME, at least that way I am showing the world something I am pleased with and that represents how I see things :o) (do hope that makes sense) [/quote]

Just carry on doing what you enjoy doing and keep your chin up and a big smile on you face :)

Message edited by author 2006-08-08 15:46:37.
08/08/2006 03:57:41 PM · #18
Well, the common thread seems to be that one should take pictures for onesself, and that certainly would be my advice. "Not good enough" is extremely audience-subjective. For example, we are all fairly certain that there is a certain type of image that "does well" at DPC, or at least there are photographic elements more favourable to votes than others. Unless you're crazy over your average score here, ignore that. :)

In my case, I like to take photos of depressing junk. One of the best pictures in my portfolio here, in my opinion, is of an old boot on the shore of Lake Eerie. What a hateful image. Who the hell would find that attractive? If entered in a challenge (and it couldn't be because of additional layers), it'd push toward the brown. But I can't say how much I really love that photograph, and how much deep meaning it has for me... which is stupid, because what does some old boot have to do with anything. But the point is, it really makes me feel something, and I couldn't be happier with that image, or more proud to have it in my collection.

That's how you take pictures for yourself, in my opinion.
08/08/2006 04:06:47 PM · #19
Originally posted by Louis:

Well, the common thread seems to be that one should take pictures for onesself, and that certainly would be my advice. "Not good enough" is extremely audience-subjective. For example, we are all fairly certain that there is a certain type of image that "does well" at DPC, or at least there are photographic elements more favourable to votes than others. Unless you're crazy over your average score here, ignore that. :)

In my case, I like to take photos of depressing junk. One of the best pictures in my portfolio here, in my opinion, is of an old boot on the shore of Lake Eerie. What a hateful image. Who the hell would find that attractive? If entered in a challenge (and it couldn't be because of additional layers), it'd push toward the brown. But I can't say how much I really love that photograph, and how much deep meaning it has for me... which is stupid, because what does some old boot have to do with anything. But the point is, it really makes me feel something, and I couldn't be happier with that image, or more proud to have it in my collection.

That's how you take pictures for yourself, in my opinion.


Great advice Louis! And the image 'Last Stand' is fantastic, I can totally understand what you are saying about the deep meaning specific images have for YOU :o)

Thanks for your reply :o)
08/08/2006 06:35:43 PM · #20
T, its currently 2:1 to me in our (now not so) secret head to head. I was so glad you finally joined up here at dpc and to be honest am very impressed with your results thus far.

I remember listening to Gerry and Phil discussing this ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/48389/thumb/314032.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/48389/thumb/314032.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' shot and (to be honest) was a little envious at their Alamy comment. I still think you should have approached her to remove the blue folder though.

You have some great shots in your portfolio here and many others that could adorn peoples walls. Yes, we all get the feelings of unworth you say your having but, as you say, its all part of the learning process and when you take the perfect image IMHO its time to sell all your kit and stop taking photos ;)

The mere fact that you will lose this head to head might be depressing for you T but hey, you gotta start somewhere ;)

Oh, and whilst I wholeheartedly agree with the 'shooting for oneself' attitude, in a head to head/comp environment you need to shoot for the masses ;)
08/08/2006 06:45:31 PM · #21
Originally posted by Ecce Signum:

T, its currently 2:1 to me in our (now not so) secret head to head.....

The mere fact that you will lose this head to head might be depressing for you T but hey, you gotta start somewhere ;)



Thanks for the kind words Andi, you make some interesting points, a few of which you and I have spent many an hour discussing!

Just incase you forgot....I am actually winning Part 2 of the Head to Head :-P

Maybe I can't manage to whoop your ass each week but with a little friendly advice from fellow DPC members today, I am at least gonna start trying to enjoy the images I take :o)
08/08/2006 10:27:10 PM · #22
Originally posted by guitars54:

could someone please tell me what the yellow flag on the open challenge means? and what the difference between an open challenge and an exclusive open challenge is?


Just a note to mention that I responded to this one in PM.
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