Confession? I really really really struggle to see that I am doing good. Most days, I find myself staring wistfully at another photographers work, wondering when mine will look like that. And its rough. Because comparison is the thief of joy and without the joy, I so easily loose sight of how lucky I am to be a photographer.
I was putting together an inspiration board of two weddings I did recently to send over to a client this morning, when I found myself overwhelmed with the sense of not being good enough. I have amazing clients who have the most gorgeous wedding days and the sweetest love stories, but then I think of all the other photographers out there and I loose sight of who I am. I think that I am not special. I wonder if my work measures up in the eyes of others. I worry that people laugh behind my back, saying to each other "she is actually quite terrible at being a photographer." And what's sad is I know that there are those that have said those things, so I feel justified in comparing who I am and my body of work to someone else who isn't even like me. The doubt and fear settle in and I'll have to take a few days to find myself again.
You know what I realized this morning though? When I compare myself to others, I feel worthless. When I compare myself to who I use to be, I see my worth. By taking a moment and looking back at a wedding from last year that I was proud of and loved shooting, I can see the growth in where I have come from. That wedding wasn't bad! In fact it was one of my best of 2015! But here we are, half way through 2016 and my work has gotten significantly better. My style has changed a little and I am more confident on a wedding day than I ever was. Comparing myself to the Amanda of October of 2015, makes me feel like a boss. So why do I even bother comparing myself to the thousands of other photographers out there when that never ends with the same feeling.
Maybe to some it seems odd for a business owner to share her struggles, maybe it seems weird to admit that my work changes. But I hold on to the idea that out there in the land of the internet are those that need to be reminded that honesty is refreshing and that your worth is found in who you are and where you are going, not in who someone else is or what they do. If that's you, especially if you are a creative, I encourage you to dig out something you use to be proud of and compare it to where you are now. See the changes, feel the joy of becoming better. And be daring enough to be honest with your journey!
And because I figured I ought to show you what brought this whole post about, the first collage is a wedding from 2015 that I loved and the second two are weddings from the last month or so. :)