What’s holding your photography back

In Standard by Patrick

This is a topic that I recently read on another blog and it really got me to thinking about my own photography and what might be holding me back both consciously and unconsciously. As I evaluated in my mind what mental hurdles do I have to overcome to progress forward, here is what I think are common obstacles that at some point as photographers we all may have faced.


By nature, we all want to be liked, accepted and feel as if we are not failing in whatever the task or job. As photographers and creatives, this can be a sobering thing as not everyone will like our photographs or accept or invitations on social media and there will be failures. Photographs that have poor exposure, shutter speed is wrong or perhaps the composition is not what it should be. I remember feeling fear early on with all these things.

One fear that may seem counter-intuitive is the fear of success. What to do when you are hired by a client for a shoot? What if they don’t like your creative vision for the shoot? How do you overcome fear? I am not sure you ever overcome fears, but rather you can learn to manage them through preparation, education and learning from others that have been through the same situations. Don’t fear the road less traveled.

Being Judged

This, in my humble opinion, is a big one for photographers. We all share our work, whether that be on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram or the countless other ways we can get our work seen in front of potential clients. What do you do when the comments of a photograph are not what you expected, and in the world of social media, this can sometimes be the case.

Do you take it to heart and post less because someone judged your work and did not like it, or if they are honest about the photograph, and the comments are constructive, do you accept them and critically look at what thy are suggesting for improvement and not block yourself from becoming better next time. Allow for some unconditional love.

Trying to please others

When first starting out, I remember the joy of just taking the pictures to record the moment. As my technical skill progressed, my focused seemed to shift to from trying to please and worry about others would think about my work. I realized that to succeed in the industry of photography, you certainly need to please the client, but also stay true to your self, do the best you can, and if you are content with pictures you have taken, and the client only likes 5 out of the hundreds of clicks, that OK.

Over time I have actually transitioned to seeking out other opinions, trying to use the critiquing of my pictures to improve. This process has helped ground me and get back to the joy of just taking pictures. I am much happier just chasing the light.

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