Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Insecure Elephants All in a Room

Listen, I'm going to get real honest real fast.

I'm really insecure.

I am absolutely terrified of failing. Do you ever remember having to show your parents an F that you got on a test, or worse, your report card? That feeling of terror, dread, and disappointment all seasoned with a pinch of cynicism...I'm constantly feeling as though I'm standing in the middle of The Arc of de Triomphe paralyzed. Any avenue could take me anywhere in Paris, but I'm too afraid to take the risk of crossing the street to get anywhere.

The funny thing is, I'm not really scared of letting Evan down, my family, or my friends; I'm lucky enough to have such amazing people in my life, that if I lit my farts on fire for a living, they probably would think I'm still pretty awesome. Letting myself down is another thing.

I love taking pictures. Especially meaningful pictures (duh).Yeah I've taken engagement pictures, kid's pictures, and some senior portraits, but my favorite pictures and the stolen moments. The kind where I'm floating around a party and no one seems to notice me. There isn't a demand for happy families, styled hair, or the perfect shot. I'm in love for every minute of it: until I feel the pressure. As soon as I feel that pressure of getting a perfect shot breathing on my neck: I panic. I overexpose, I underexpose, I cut off heads, and frankly act like I have no clue as to what I'm doing.

I'll get home and download my pictures and hate every single one of them. If the picture I had in mind didn't turn out right I get angry, my cheeks flush, and I feel like I never want to pick up my camera again. I'm frustrated not knowing how to work my camera to get a specific shot. I dread giving pictures to people. I'll spend hours trying to edit them to satisfaction only to fail in my eyes.
Eventually I decided that if I never actually committed to being a full time photographer, and just did it for "fun" and not as a professional, I could never fail. While this is ultimately true, it currently leaves me in a constant torturous and dissatisfied state of mind. One day I'm ready to break out, fulfill my dreams and do what I love. The next day I'm retreating back into a corner, beating myself up, thinking I'm out of my mind.

Then something happened. A few weeks ago I stumbled across Christina Greve, who is a photographer and life coach. I read this article  and felt like she wrote it just for me. It completely expressed, and shot down all the bad things I believed to be true about myself, especially when it came to taking pictures. I am not a crier, but I tear up every time I read it, because deep down I know its painfully true.

Right now I'm a little embarrassed to report that I'm still standing in  the middle of The Arc of de Triomphe. But, I can feel the roots of self-doubt and insecurities slowly disentangling themselves away from me. I'm accepting that its ok to not produce high quality, picture perfect pictures right off the bat. Its going to take time, motivation, and drive to accomplish skills that I want to possess. All of those things can't happen in a day, or even a year. I took pictures of spring around here, and I guess that's a good place as any to start.      

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