“All things are difficult before they are easy.” I was an elementary school teacher in my first career. In my teaching position, this quote was so easy to apply. Kids came into my class each year with excited minds, learned new things, and by the end of the year, they were able to master things that seemed so difficult at the beginning of the year – like cursive writing, or multiplication, or even reading.
This concept becomes much harder as an adult for some reason. We seem to reach a point at which we expect all things to come to us with ease and expertise. We lose our patience easily, become frustrated, look enviously at our neighbors, and sometimes, even quit.
Shortly after retiring from my teaching position to become a full-time photographer, I can remember spending whole weeks taking online courses on “in-person sales” and “selling wall galleries” and “how to price for profit”. I would sit at my computer for hours at a time, furiously taking notes that were sure to provide me with a six-figure income by the year’s end. yet…
My camera sat in the bag.
Does this ring a bell? Is your camera sitting in your bag while you surf photography websites? Are you researching the latest model lens or how to get more likes and followers on social media? Well, at the very least I can say from experience that you are not alone.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is “what kind of camera should I use?” I am here to say that you should use the one you HAVE! This is not to dismiss the importance of really great photography gear. I will never forget the amazement I experienced when I upgraded to a full-fame camera. I also went over the moon during my first practice session with my 50mm f1.4 lens. Ahhh! But, gear doesn’t determine your skill level at shooting and creating the structure of a really fantastic image.
Think of it this way… If you can shoot with the really crappy old camera, and be creative with your composition, and learn how to shoot in a manual setting – you will most certainly ROCK your full-frame camera when the time comes. However, if you do not practice, improve and grow with your old crappy camera, you will be shooting the same type of images with the new camera. After all, “The master has failed more times than the beginner has ever tried”
I am so guilty of researching, learning, seeking information, but over the years, I have learned to practice more and more even as I improve.
The feeling you get from creating a really great image that takes your skills to a new level cannot be replaced with any training, book or webinar. THAT is how you build up your confidence. Think back to a recent time, or even the first time you took an amazing photo, shared it with someone and felt really proud because you LOVED the image and so did the person you shared it with. Nothing will motivate you more than that type of momentum.
Below are some before and after shots of my photography skills along the way – everybody starts somewhere right? Share your images with me in the FB group or tag me on Instagram @ #confidentphotographers
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