It’s not being recruited to work as a photojournalist at an international news outlet, it’s not to have a six-figure income, it’s not to have a house, family, or multiple degrees. It’s not to have published work throughout the world.
When I started out on my own last year this idea of success would be something I would have to really look at. Success coupled with self-worth and other ideas like this.
At what point would my mom and dad be proud and what point have I ‘made’ it? I could keep sharing my week to week assignments and achievements, the praise from clients, the income flowing in, the growth of my business and my skill. But that started to feel like this never-ending wheel of reporting and the idea of needing to update to prove my success for me felt exhausting and not where my energy needed to be focused in.
Since I was young my own desires didn’t aline with the common ideals of success. I didn’t find marrying appealing, nor buying a home, or having a family. I found myself desiring travel, self development, hard work, being adventurous, and giving. I found success in the hustle and my ability to continue to push and drive myself forward.
With some true reflection, success really just means doing something well. Doing something really well- that is success to me. Having integrity and respect for the craft and every element within it. That feels like success for me. Nothing else matters and we don’t have to prove or measure anything to have a sense of success. It is all already in us.
Moment captured by Miles Woodworth
Photos are powerful. I say this often to my clients and help them to understand how damn powerful this tool is. Not only is it powerful in terms of business but also in terms of self-worth. Stay with me here.
What sets good photographers apart from others?
Is it education?
Is it equipment?
Is it your network and opportunity?
Is it being at the right place at the right time?
Is it your willingness to go where others won’t?
Is it your eye?
Is it your creativity?
Is it your interpersonal skills?
Is it your experience?
Is it your confidence?
Is it your self-worth and self-love?
I believe above all of these… a good photographers has at least two…
When people ask me what education I have as a photographer, my answer is that I have no formal education- though I have over 10 years of experience and experience is the best form of education.
When I was starting out in my business last year I had many points where I thought that I should sign up for an online course or go back to school for this. Why? I thought that this would make me more legit. More credible. Better. Worth it. Worthy. The reality is that why waste time and money on that when…
I am doing it, I am living it, and I am good at it.
Education is not always the answer and absolutely sometimes it is. Just don’t let it stop you from actually doing what it is that you want to be doing.
I see some of my dear friends and people in my network who keep pushing what it is that they are really good at and are being called to do… pushing it off and getting degree after degree or certificate or certain certifications, etc. to finally feel ‘worth it’.
Girl, you are worth it! And you’re ready to get after it.
The other quality I believe that good photographers have is interpersonal skills. How we connect with our people. How we interact, make feel comfortable, laugh, share stories, etc.
To really see people…
I’d be interested in what you think makes a good photographer…