Have you ever stopped yourself from taking that shot? From going to that event? From doing that thing you promised yourself you would do?

Well you aren't alone. Time and time again I have caught myself doing this where I originally say that I will go to X event or I will stay up for the super moon that only happens once in every 500 years - and then never end up doing it.

For myself, one factor could be my depression but other things can come into play.

1. You feel you aren't good enough.

As a cliche quote once said "Every expert was a beginner." and photography is no exception to this. My teachers told me when I was in post secondary that my first 10,000 images are going to be utter crap because that is when you are learning and growing the most. The other thing they pointed out was that in order to be a great photographer you need to keep your camera on you at all times and to force yourself to shoot at least a little each day. It keeps your skills sharp if you are an expert or helps grow your understanding of settings and conceptualization. I admit that some people are more gifted with 'the eye' than others but that still shouldn't deter you from trying. Be patient with yourself and don't let others kill your dream or passion. My business has been active for roughly 4 years and there is still plenty of camera settings I could master or even understand. (I was never the super technical shooter, always spoke to my heart to gain inspiration which in turn helped with my approach.) Practicing is the building blocks to gaining inspiration and instilling confidence. If you feel you still don't understand your settings well, here is a link to an infographic I found to help with this.

I admit that some people are more gifted with 'the eye' than others but that still shouldn't deter you from trying. Be patient with yourself and don't let others kill your dream or passion.

Fake it until you make it. Recently, a fellow photographer made a similar historical themed post accompanied by a photo. They talked about the history and 'what the building could say if it could talk'. I've done this a few times and it has always paid off because people still appreciate history. They just want it in a easily digestible format such as bullet points and the occasional emoji. I just found this little incident interesting as it shows how much you can actually influence others without even noticing at first.

And 2. You aren't putting yourself first.

One key mistake photographers make is that they put their passion on the back burner because their progress isn't happening as quickly as they would like. They instantly want to be the master and be successful and travel the world doing it.

For most people, especially in such a saturated industry like photography, you have to make yourself a priority first in order to achieve your goals.

Sometimes setting your goals low helps you achieve them. You can do this by breaking your massive goals down into tiny, manageable increments. For example, say you want to have bookings for an entire day. One marketing tool I have seen used time and time again is a simple sheet with a certain date at the top when you will be available and then a number of time slots. They can be anywhere from 15 minute sessions to 2 hours. It's all in what you are willing to provide and how efficient/creative you can be behind the lense in that time frame. Once a session has been booked, the photographer makes another story or post with the current available times, creating a sense of urgency for clients to book ASAP. For the most part, these dates and times give people the choice which many appreciate as they can see first hand what is available and what isn't.

Dedicate some of your time on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to your photography. It will pay off in the long run.

Be creative when you do. Start by trying some rule of thirds or landscape pictures before moving on to light painting and portraiture with lighting.

And 3. You feel like people will judge you

First off, you are so wrong if you think this. Everyone I have met has been encouraging but even if they aren't, it is on them, not you sweetie. Hurt people hurt people. They can be jealous because they want to be in the position you are in which means you are already ahead of the game and should continue to follow the path your heart and head are telling you to pursue. As long as you continue to be creative you will succeed.

All in all, I hope this post will help at least one person in finding their inner photographer or someone who needed that extra boost to their confidence. You all deserve to be praised and accepted for what you want to do. As Dori from Finding Nemo would say, "Just keep Swimming, Just keep Swimming."

Cheers, T.