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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 23 May 2012 (Wednesday) 19:04
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Photographer anxiety

 
JakAHearts
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May 23, 2012 19:04 |  #1

Does anyone else ever get this feeling? When I look at other photographers work, and think that it isnt that great, I often feel like Im not good enough to do better or that there are lots of people thinking the same thing about my work and just not telling me, just like I dont tell those photographers. Im very glad to admit when someone is a better photographer than I and Im a very self confident guy but when it comes to photography, I always feel insecure when Im going to take pictures. Am I alone? :)


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May 23, 2012 19:06 |  #2

I always feel I can shoot better and when I do it's very rewarding. I always strive to get better.


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Andrew ­ Tingle
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May 23, 2012 19:14 as a reply to  @ CameraMan's post |  #3

Being hard on oneself is a good thing, as it pushes one to strive to learn and grow, but being too hard can be very detrimental and actually do more harm than good.

If one can always see room for improvement, and understand that, in so doing, one will always see things that could be better, then it gives us something to aim for, but, confidence that one can always improve and learn, no matter who one is, should be seen as a positive rather than a negative. To get too dejected about ones work - but not, say, allowing for the stage you are at and giving yourself due leeway, won't help you.

Know your limitations and know that you can and will exceed them as you learn and all will be well.


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JakAHearts
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May 23, 2012 19:22 |  #4

Haha, thanks guys! What I like to do is just go to 500px and look at the popular section. Then I dont have to look at any "bad" images. :D


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whuband
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May 23, 2012 19:23 |  #5

If you're not living off photography, then it doesn't matter what others think. You can view other photographers' work for ideas and standards, but it boils down to making yourself happy.


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May 23, 2012 21:10 |  #6

IMO, one of the big things about photography is that it is so subjective. What one person may love another may hate. Once the basic technical skills are mastered, so much comes down to personal preference. For instance, if you are only shooting for yourself, it really doesn't matter what anyone else likes.....On the other hand, if you're being paid to shoot for someone else, it really doesn't matter what you like so long as your client likes it.




  
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May 23, 2012 22:41 as a reply to  @ jra's post |  #7

For me, photography is a very solitary experience. I often shoot alone (sometimes the family tags along) but never with others. I don't enter shows, I don't go to photo clubs.

So for me, I really have nothing to judge myself by, and when I do put my stuff out there, I am very uncertain about it. It is a strange thing for me. My wife pushes and says that I should enter some pics in the local photo contests... but that really is not for me.

I recently went to a birding event where there were thousands of people with cameras...and I felt like a first grader trying to play college basketball... and it was not about gear envy. So that's the root of my issues/anxieties, from mostly being a solo shooter, in a crowd. Wanting to join the crowd, but being afraid I won't measure up.

Its part of the reason I like the anonymity of these forums. Of course when I posted here at first, I could not take the comments and critiques (my pics got rough reviews), and stopped posting photos for several years. (Either you guys have gotten nicer, or my photos are getting better, since I started some posting again.)


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jra
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May 24, 2012 00:19 |  #8

boufa wrote in post #14476666 (external link)
For me, photography is a very solitary experience. I often shoot alone (sometimes the family tags along) but never with others. I don't enter shows, I don't go to photo clubs.

So for me, I really have nothing to judge myself by, and when I do put my stuff out there, I am very uncertain about it. It is a strange thing for me. My wife pushes and says that I should enter some pics in the local photo contests... but that really is not for me.

I recently went to a birding event where there were thousands of people with cameras...and I felt like a first grader trying to play college basketball... and it was not about gear envy. So that's the root of my issues/anxieties, from mostly being a solo shooter, in a crowd. Wanting to join the crowd, but being afraid I won't measure up.

Its part of the reason I like the anonymity of these forums. Of course when I posted here at first, I could not take the comments and critiques (my pics got rough reviews), and stopped posting photos for several years. (Either you guys have gotten nicer, or my photos are getting better, since I started some posting again.)

For you, you really have no need to please anyone other than yourself. I would say that it's useful to browse forums to discover other ideas that you may like, but there are no demands for you to go beyond taking photographs that you solely enjoy. As long as you're doing what you like, there should be no feelings of inferiority. IMO, the only time it really matters what others think is when you're being hired to shoot for another person. Beyond that, it's all personal preference.




  
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Clean ­ Gene
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May 24, 2012 01:13 |  #9

JakAHearts wrote in post #14475670 (external link)
Does anyone else ever get this feeling? When I look at other photographers work, and think that it isnt that great, I often feel like Im not good enough to do better or that there are lots of people thinking the same thing about my work and just not telling me, just like I dont tell those photographers. Im very glad to admit when someone is a better photographer than I and Im a very self confident guy but when it comes to photography, I always feel insecure when Im going to take pictures. Am I alone? :)

I get anxiety, but I've never gotten that specific kind of anxiety.

When I see a good (or bad) photograph that no one else is discussing, and I think it's good or bad enough to deserve a reply, I feel anxious being the first one to comment on it. There's a very real chance that I'll end up looking like a dumbass, and that actually often happens.

And when I see a really amazing photograph, it has one of two effects. Either it puts a fire under my ass and makes me think, "damnit, I can do better than what I'm doing", or it discourages me and makes me think, "wow...that's so amazing, I'll NEVER be that good."

But I've never looked at a BAD photograph and gotten anxiety.

That being said, I'd wager that most (if not all) photographers get some kind of anxiety, just like I'd wager that most (if not all) movie stars and rock stars get some kind of anxiety. That has to be normal to some extent. Any way it goes, these kinds of people pour their hearts out, and it's pretty much 100% guaranteed that sometimes people will verbally trash the work. That hurts.

But it's also part of the process. It's natural, the important thing is to get past that. Because art is one area in which people who are afraid to get emotionally hurt (or be wrong or look stupid) would probably do well to take up a different hobby/profession.

Best suggestion I have is to find people who know art and photography and are totally 100% willing to give you HONEST feedback.




  
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May 24, 2012 09:18 |  #10

JakAHearts wrote in post #14475670 (external link)
... I always feel insecure when Im going to take pictures. Am I alone? :)

Be glad that you don't also have to worry about the x-rays at the airport, the shipper losing your film, or the lab screwing up your processing! :D


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JakAHearts
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May 24, 2012 09:20 |  #11

PhotosGuy wrote in post #14478150 (external link)
Be glad that you don't also have to worry about the x-rays at the airport, the shipper losing your film, or the lab screwing up your processing! :D

:lol::lol: I dont get it... ;)


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RichSoansPhotos
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May 24, 2012 09:56 |  #12
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CameraMan wrote in post #14475677 (external link)
I always feel I can shoot better and when I do it's very rewarding. I always strive to get better.

+1 To OP, always strive to do better, plus editing can give your photos a lot of punch.

I used to be technically crap years ago




  
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JakAHearts
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May 24, 2012 10:25 |  #13

400dabuser wrote in post #14478324 (external link)
+1 To OP, always strive to do better, plus editing can give your photos a lot of punch.

I used to be technically crap years ago

I do always strive to do better. Im quite confident that I am getting better. Its just that when I look at "bad" pictures, I just think "Man, what if I make that image...". Even though I can identify the qualities that make it unappealing and think of what I would do differently, it just worries me. I guess Im just weird. :D


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May 24, 2012 11:18 |  #14

Yup, I get that feeling also. Currently at a pretty low point, I have a memory card full of photos from last week's trip to St Louis that I don't even want to bring into the computer. Hopefully I'll come around this weekend.

There's also something else that I don't think has been mentioned in this thread: Photography brings out a competitive and jealous streak, that I never even knew existed in me. I'm not a competitive person by nature - even when I take the car out to driving/racing events, I'm just there to have fun and better myself, and I don't care if I'm better or worse than the next guy. But when I see one of "my" models in someone else's photo set, I feel jealously or competitiveness welling up. If they're not very good, I feel annoyed that the model didn't ask me instead... or, if they're really good, I feel very competitive and driven to do even better.

It's a really weird feeling. Nothing else causes those kinds of reactions in me.


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May 24, 2012 15:14 |  #15

I do get some anxiety before I post my photos. I am new to photography and I tend to be very self concious of my photos. I am trying to get into the mindset of "I am doing this for myself and no one else." I'm starting to get over my anxiety. This is a hobby for me and not something I will earn a living off of.


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