Dear Brand-New Photographer,
I’m sure that you’re so very excited about your new career choice. You should be. Being a photographer is an extremely fun and creative career! I’m sure that you spend hours reading photography blogs, tutorials, watching instructional videos and experimenting on your own family and friends with your new (or not-so-new) camera...
But I want to tell you a few things...
Don’t spend so much time poring over other photographers’ blogs and image galleries that you start to doubt yourself and lose hope of becoming truly good.
Look to yourself, your surroundings, your faith, your dreams, your family, and your close friends for inspiration and affirmation.
Learn from your mistakes and failures, and then move on.
Learn to look at your work with an objective eye - remove your emotions about how thrilled/disappointed/disgusted/underwhelmed/happy/etc. you are when you get “that shot” or FAIL to get “that shot”. Don’t either get a big head about yourself, or give up because you failed. Dissect your shots, examine your process. Learn.
Then move on.
Don’t ever think that you can’t be “good enough” based on what others are shooting/saying/doing/tweeting/facebooking/instagramming.
When the naysayers come, don’t read/listen to what they have to say. If it has a negative, nasty tone, it is not meant to help you, it is meant to destroy you.
Don’t let it.
Find other photographers/creatives/artists who are giving and kind; who enjoy sharing the journey with you and aren’t snooty/stuck up/full of themselves.
Don’t become a snooty/stuck up/full of yourself kind of photographer.
Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that your style/artistic voice is “wrong”.
When you honestly think your work is “ready” (whatever that means to you), submit it for publication. If you get turned down the first time, reevaluate and learn. And submit again. And again. And again.
When you do get published, be happy, excited, and feel good about it!
Then move on. And on. And on.
P.S. I am not an expert. I am your peer. Don’t ever stop feeling “brand-new” on some level. I am still “brand-new”.
There are no easy answers.
Keep working hard.
Keep the fire burning.