Tuesday, July 14, 2009

feelin' down

it seems like i'm surrounded by a ton of hopeful photographers. everyone is a photographer. i can't tell if it's because i hang out with people with like interests, or if everyone really is a photographer. but when i'm standing in the midst of so many and most of them are much, much better than me, i wonder: what am i doing? why don't i put my camera down and let them do their job? why would i strut around among them, pretending that i know what's going on, that i have some sort of handle on the topic?

right now i feel discouraged and i can hear a million voices in my heading, "just give up! just give up!" it's hard to keep going when you hear those voices.

i'm grateful for jasmine star, who makes me feel like i'm okay, even if she doesn't know me.

and, for jen osullivan, who is amazing in a way that makes me feel like i can get better.

and ryan, of course, who thinks the world of me, even when i don't deserve it.


Aria Bethards said...

Almost all photographers have probably felt the same feelings at some point. And the world can never have too many photographers. Just use those feelings to motivate you to become one of the best.

Heather Lynne said...

Can I just say that I've noticed the same thing? Its way easy to get jealous and think that you might as well not keep trying, cause so many other people are doing it too.

But you have a way of seeing things that nooo one else can. It's like...Miriam-vision, haha. Everyone has their own way of seeing stuff, so just let yours go nuts and you'll be awesome, cause you're seriously talented.

Homespun Emily said...

If it's any consolation, you know a lot more than I do!

Freckles said...

Yes, sadly these days everyone really is a photographer! haha I have 6 other competing photogs within 4 blocks of me! I told Liz that it is the latest "thing to do," everyone with a camera thinks they should be a photographer. Just don't get discouraged, you are good!

I've had those thoughts many times, I still get them today, but if I had given up I wouldn't have learned as much as I did and i wouldn't be where I am now either. Plus, everyone has a different style, people who like your look will come to you despite the other millions of photogs. Just let me know the secret of how to reach them all when you find out!

I've already seen your growth in your images and I love them. I love them because it's a style that I cant do and am not good at, I like to look at your pictures because they're not like everyone elses and others will appreciate that too, just give it time. It's taken me 12 years for people to appreciate my work and I still have to fight for new clients! hang in there!

Liz said...

Oh Miriam! I remember this. And sometimes I still feel frustrated about this. It's like when people ask you what kind of a camera you have as if that's what makes your pictures so special. Grrr. I agree with Evelyn. You have a different style and those who like your style will cut through all the others and make a beeline to you for it.

About getting better:

Go look at the first posts in my photography blog. Seriously. I was not that great. But luckily, I had Evelyn, who is the world's greatest friend, motivator, and encourager! She would always praise what was good about my pictures and help me to learn how to improve what was not good. Over the year and a half since I started photography, I've stuffed myself full of information about how to use my camera, how to use photoshop, and how to ignore everyone else (while still appreciating their artistic skills) and focus on expressing MYSELF through photography. The details will come, Miriam, but one thing that can't really be learned is to have an eye for it, to be able to actually "compose" a picture. And you have that. That comes naturally to you. All the rest, the camera settings, the lenses, the photoshop skills, can all be learned.

In short, you are awesome. Don't give up. Just be you. And all the rest of that sappy blather. You have creativity in droves. I love reading your blog, it's one of the few I check every single day. Photography is yet another expression of that creativity that you do well. Keep calling Evelyn (you like that I'm volunteering you, E?!) and read a tutorial a day. Pretty soon you'll be busting out images to rival Jewel Star or whatever-the-heck her name is.

P.S. You can call me, too. I'm just horrible at talking on the phone. I'm a much better email person. :0)

Morgan said...

Miriam, please don't feel down. Please. I think you are a wonderful photographer, and I am so not just saying that. I LOVE your pictures. So often I think that and don't say anything, but I should, and I will. I think you're pretty much fantastic. I admire you so much for making a business out of your love for photography. It's something that I'm not sure that I could ever do.

Everyone's got room for improvement, even the very best of the best. Speaking only for myself, I only compete with me. I always try to make my next picture better than MY best, not better than Dorothea Lange's best, or Annie Leibovitz's best. I love to admire other people's work, but I try to see my own beauty and capture that, rather than recreate somebody else's beauty. That being said, I have learned that comparing myself to other people only makes me feel worse about myself. I've learned that it is just never, under any conditions, a good idea. I end up having to remind myself that I'm me. I'm unique. I don't have to be like anyone else.

Just like someone else pointed out, NO ONE can see the way that you do. That's my very favorite thing about photography. I wish that everyone in the world were as passionate about it as people like you and I are. Each and every person has their own unique perception of beauty. You may point to a flower and say, "Wow, isn't that just gorgeous?!!!" and I'll say, "Umm, no." Then you take a fantastic picture of said flower, show it to me, and I say, "Oh my goodness, it IS gorgeous!" And I would never have seen that gorgeousness if you hadn't taken that picture. You see how that works? Photography allows us to see things through each other's eyes, something that we couldn't really do any other way. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing and for that reason alone you can never give up. Never ever. Promise me, please, that you'll never stop.

The Strong Family said...

you are an amazing photographer and you definitly have that artist free spirit thing down. The pics you took of the kids were awesome. such a competitive field though. like most things we do in life it take time and effort and a bit of smoozing sometimes to get noticed........

Jen O'Sullivan said...

You are a beautiful person who should follow YOUR dreams! Photography is a wonderful dream that can only be seen through YOUR eyes. What you create is yours. Own it! Love it! Embrace it, because it is all you can do. The rest will come! I promise. :)