Today I made a blog page for an old photography project called “The Most Important Thing.” As I looked through the portraits I took, I was amazed at how much I have improved. Back in 2012 I was proud of the photos I posted for the project. But looking at it today I thought, “I can’t believe I thought these were good enough to share! My portraits are so much better now!” I’m really encouraged by this. It shouldn’t come as a surprise – if you continually work at something for years and years, you are bound to get better. But today I realized how far I have come, and how much I have learned – about how my camera works, lighting, posing, and editing, to name a few.
I’m still not 100% satisfied with most of the pictures I take. It’s the perfectionist in me. I want more. I want to be better. Quite honestly I want to be the best. But that’s the thing with art – you can’t be the best. You can only be YOUR best. So I’m excited to keep learning, and keep improving. I know that in four years time, I’ll probably look back on the photos I’m taking today and think, “Look how much I have improved since then!”
If you are just starting out with photography and feeling discouraged, or wishing you could be better – just keep at it! You WILL get better if you stick with it. I have taken one workshop in photography. That is the only formal training I have – but I have read so much online and have just kept shooting. I feel like I have so much to learn still – but now that makes me excited instead of apprehensive.
I have been learning lately to truly enjoy my creative pursuits, whether it be photography, music, or blogging. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the comparison game. I think, “I’m not as good as that person” or “This has already been done.” But I have to go back to the real reason I create – it is because I love it. It makes me feel good, and happy, to be creating and sharing my work with others.
My friend Sarah has been helping me with this. I was so encouraged by her words:
Stop comparing yourself to others and remember the true reason why you are doing this. Personally, I pursue this because it is my passion. My focus is to create out of LOVE and NOT out of fear.
Here’s to creativity!