This is one of those pictures that I hardly ever share. I am so unsure of it. I study photography so hard, it almost paralyzes me with worry that I am being too cliche or breaking some rule that I forgot about. The truth is, I’m not really that smart. I can’t keep track of all those rules and cliches. You live by the mantra of the famous Robert Capa: “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough” Capa lived and ultimately died by following that way of thinking. He also produced some of the most amazing images ever seen in the medium of Photography.
I know for a fact that I have a lot to learn, and my work is nothing compared to greats like Capa, but what is bugging me is that I can’t get rid of the sense that there is someone out there that is going to hate the work I put out no matter how hard I try.
So I sit on my images forever. I worry over them. I know why I like the image, but then I just start to imagine what people are going to think about it. Will they just blow by it? Is it really that interesting, or I am just crazy? Its at this point that I become really frustrated. What am I doing? I’m constantly out in public, battling my fears, trying to summon up the courage to get as close as possible. I’m studying backgrounds, and waiting for that magic moment to present itself. Sometimes I just force it. I just keep snapping indiscriminately. I don’t think, I just shoot.
I want to be good at this so badly, that I constantly beat myself up over not living up to my own lofty expectations. I always feel like I leave something out, or that I am holding something back. I feel that I should be better, and I’m disappointed in myself. I forget that I am only half way through college. I wish that I was just a natural talent, someone that didn’t need to be educated, they just put out brilliant work because it is in their DNA.
One thing I can say about getting a formal education in Photography is that you at least expose yourself to what society and history have decided is good photography. You get to soak in amazing imagery and try to put the concepts of the greats into practice. There is also competition though, and I really think that everyone secretly wants to be “the best photographer in the class.”
There are strong opinions expressed in both negative and positive ways. I won’t touch HDR processing because of the hateful things people say about it, and I know for a fact that I am getting hated on for having an Instagram account. Sometimes I think I am too sensitive to be a photographer. You really need to have a thick skin and believe in yourself, that is all there is to it.
I have so many images that have never been viewed because of this irrational and unnecessary fear. It’s my blog and I can post whatever image I want, and if nobody likes it, who cares? You go back to the drawing board and you try again. Why stifle yourself based on how you think others perceive you?