I lack confidence. That's a scary confession but it's the truth, so why not admit it?
I have been an aspiring photographer since I can remember but I began my business in April 2009 (www.saravogtphotography.com). When I had my first session, I was extremely nervous. Questions and doubts surged through my mind: "Will these people click with me?" "Can I really take a good picture of them?" "What if they hate the photos I produce of them?"....And on and on it went.
I prayed before every session. I still do. Even though it has gotten a little easier meeting and shooting new people (and those I know but don't really know) over the past 2 years and 8 months, I still lack confidence. A LOT.
When I'm at a session and I switch to Manual Mode, man, does that feeling of nervousness, doubt and inadaquacy fill my mind! I forget the things I new, I forget poses I'd like to try. All I can think of is, "can I produce work that these people will love? Me, Sara Vogt, a small-town southern girl with one year of college and a southern drawl...." and then I begin wondering, "They'll think I don't know a thing about what I'm doing because I'm fiddling with these dials and telling them to wait while I get this right...." Yup, I do that.
I guess in a sense it's not a bad thing. At least if you're wondering if they'll like something or if they'll think you're stupid you see there's room for improvement. That's one way of looking at it..... But I typically don't look at it thru that rose-colored filter. I typically see it as, "I really don't know what I'm doing and I'm shooting these people for money!!!"
Really though, in all honesty, unless those you're photograping are photographers themselves, they don't really see all those things that you're worried about. They just see you as a Photographer who knows about their camera and who is trying to create the perfect photo for them!!
That should ease my mind (and yours), right? It doesn't really help. But that's where having and building confidence comes in.
Lately, before each session I go into, when I hear those doubts and insecurities tapping down the drive to the front door of my mind, I begin reminding myself of all the other sessions (successful ones, I might add) that I've held. I remind myself of all the new people I've met and connected with (there really isn't ANY client I've had that I haven't connected with in some way) and all the positive feedback from those clients. I remind myself that I did it last time, so I can do it again! And then, I pray. For wisdom, for understanding of my client's needs, for strength, creativity of thought and for remembrance of the things I've learned.
I'm working on my confidence. It's not always in place but it's coming along. And as Phillipians 4:13 says, "I can do all things thru Christ which strengtheneth me". I can do EVERYTHING thru Him.
If you're new to photography, or even an old hand at it and still have days where you lack confidence, I hope this helps you to know it's not just you and that you can create confidence by remembering what achievements you've made in the past and practicing being proud of the images you create for others.