“A flower doesn’t compare itself to the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
It’s something that many photographers don’t like to talk about, but it’s definitely something that occurs. It doesn’t matter if you have been photographing professionally for years or if you are just starting out, we have all gotten a case of the blues. It’s called Photographer Depression & it happens.
For some of us it happens in different stages of our careers. It can occur in the beginning of our venture, “I’m not good enough.” or “This is so time consuming!”
Or it can happen after a year or two in the business, “Why am I doing this again?” or “Why is she successful & not me?” or “I’m doing so much work for such little pay, it’s just not worth it.”
It’s completely normal to go through the photographer blues. I myself have gone through this. I actually know now, after doing photography for 5 years, full time now, exactly when my photographer blues will kick in. I only know this because Ivan has pointed it out. This year though, I am determined to stay super busy during the time I know it’s going to kick in & if you are in denial about the photographer blues, or maybe this will open your eyes to saying, “Wow, I totally had/have the photographer blues, no wonder.” or “This chick is crazy, I have no idea what she’s talking about, sucks to be her!” Lol. That’s totally fine!
Photographer blues: Comparison is the thief of joy…
Comparing your work with others will get you no where. What difference will it make if you are constantly IG stalking/Facebook stalking (& come on, don’t say you don’t!) other photographers?? We begin to feel this feeling of sadness when we look at our own work. We look at the amount of followers they have for example, all the comments, all the likes, and we think- “why am I not there yet?”
Please, stop comparing yourself to others. Grow at your own pace. If you truly love what you do & you want to seriously do this full time one day, you have to stop putting yourself & your work down. If anything, reach out to these other photographers & make friends. This year, I have really tried to reach out to other photographers. This has always been difficult for me & honestly, I have had my guard up for many years. I have gone through photographer bullying before & I have never wanted to EVER feel that way again. When I went to the CreativeLive class though, I was determined to make new friends, others who weren’t trying to compete with me, or compare themselves with me, but with others who were out there hustling & encouraged you to hustle too! We are ALL so different & we all have something to give. Don’t forget that 😉
Photographer blues: How to keep & stay busy…
I’ll let you in on a little secret. The photographer blues will kick in when you are at home & you keep checking your email constantly for that next wedding/portrait inquiry. Days go by, nothing. Weeks go by, nothing. Then you start thinking, “That’s it. I’m done. Nobody likes me. Everyone hates me. My work is disgusting. I hate my life.” Okay..that was REALLY dramatic, but I’m trying to make a point! Hahaha!
- Have a meet up date with other photographers or others in the Art industry!
- Take a class, either online or in person!
- Join a workshop or a styled shoot (or create your own styled shoot)!
- Find your style!
- Keep yourself busy with other things that are important to you!
Photographer blues: Figuring out what you are good at…
I have to admit, I’m not a newborn photographer. I’m just not.
I’m not a mom. I have two dogs for goodness sakes! I don’t know how to handle a newborn body (ask my friends who have seen me try to hold their newborn babies, hilarious!!!)
Do I LOVE babies? YES! But it’s not about loving babies. You can love babies & get a mini panic attack when it’s time to pick them up & move them around. That’s me. Lol!
There are photographers who specialize in newborn portraits. These photographers are extremely talented. They also have all of the equipment to safely take care of a newborn, because they are so delicate. I see these newborn photographers, and I’m in total AWE! I wish I knew how to move & pose a newborn baby into all of those adorable poses. Confession: I don’t. I mean, maybe when I have my own baby, I’ll get more comfortable. Maybe, a new side of me will come out & I’ll be able to work & pose newborns with ease. But for now, I’m just not.
When I do receive an inquiry for newborn portraits, I always get a little skip in my heartbeat, because I really do love working with newborns, but I also know that maybe the parents are wanting the super cute froggy poses, etc. So, I’m honest & I let them know that if they do pick me for newborn portraits, I have a way of documenting that. Most of my clients are okay with that, because they know that I don’t specialize in newborn portraits.
Weddings on the other hand, weddings, are my one true love! I LOVE everything that has to do with a wedding day. The beginning of a new family. Nothing makes my heart jump for joy!!!
& guess what, it only took me like, 5 years to realize that.
So it will take time or maybe it won’t! Maybe, you are reading this & thinking, “Yeaaa, I will never photograph a wedding!” or “I love working with children & babies, but High School seniors aren’t my fave!”
That’s great! That means you are thinking about what works for you & what doesn’t work for you!
Photographer blues: Talk about it…
Sometimes we just go through a little creative slump. We get down on ourselves for not booking as much as the next person, or not making enough, or just feeling overall lonely.
It’s going to be okay. Know that you aren’t alone.
& of course, if you ever need an encouraging word or if you are feeling the photographer blues…talk to me! I have two listening ears! 🙂