Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Feeling like a misfit doing what I love.

I think maybe as an artist we never are fully satisfied with our own work, but love the work of other artists. Maybe it's because we can see what we would've done better if we had more time or more resources.

I have done photography since I was a freshman in college. So needless to say, I have a lot of experience behind my belt. But every time I go to shoot a wedding or take family photos, I feel like a complete mess. I feel like I'm not qualified to do what I'm doing. I feel like I'm not going to take pictures as well as another photographer. Maybe it's because I compare myself to other photographers and gawk at how beautiful their photos turn out, or maybe it's because the photos don't turn out exactly how I want them to in my mind. Either way, after I take the photos and edit them, and the finished products turns out beautiful, I am reassured that I have done my best work. But it doesn't matter how long I do this, I still get butterflies before any shoot.

It's especially hard to just be me, and do what I want and post it on the web. There's so many people out there judging your work, and you know that you can't prevent that.

And what about my paintings? In high school, I hated painting.

Now I use watercolor almost exclusively. I really wish I would have known how much I would have loved cameras and watercolor earlier. I may have steered clear of the business world... but then again I wouldn't have gotten where I am without that crazy path. 

I just wonder when I will feel like I can fit in the ranks with other professional photographers. I mean what really makes you a professional photographer? Is it the degree? Is it having gallery opening? Or a certain amount of years working as a photographer, or is it the equipment that you use? For me, I think it's feeling like the quality of my work captures the essence of the subject that I'm shooting and maybe the photograph that I take is just so unique that it's not like anyone else's. I haven't really pinpointed it yet.

I think I just focus too much on what other photographers would consider me as. Would they look at my work and say yes you are professional, or am I waiting to hear from a professional photographers Association? I don't think that's even realistic. It's like being a painter and waiting to hear from some art gallery in New York asking to have your artwork featured in their space. It doesn't make you any less of an artist if you don't get into some museum.

I don't even have a degree in art! My degree is in business... yet I took so many art classes... wishing that a degree in art equaled a guaranteed career.

Now here I am, a teacher, teaching photography in high school. It is funny how life turns out. Quite beautiful, but funny.

And I wouldn't change it for anything.

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