I am extremely critical to everything I do. Not just in work situations, but in life in general. From the way I present myself, the service I provide and the quality of the result at the end of a project. I am terrified that a client won’t be happy with the work I have done, because the feeling of letting someone down is probably the worst thing I can image. Even in situations where I am really pleased with the photos from a shoot, I am still just as nervous and anxious upon presenting the result. It is to the point of feeling physically ill. Why? Because I don’t believe in myself.
Working as a freelance photographer involves a lot of client hunting. You need clients to earn money, it is as simple as that. And in order to get clients, you need to sell yourself and your abilities to others so that they want you. It is fair to say that this is not my strong suit. As a result of fair of rejection, I didn’t really do any client hunting at all during the time I “worked as a photographer”. All the work I had came to me. And that is not a way to build a portfolio, create a name in the photography industry and earn money.
I believe working as a photographer could be a social profession, with great potential to work with a lot of different people on shoots, networking with potential clients, collaboration partners (makeup artist, stylists, realtors, editors etc), with other photographers etc. If you have the right mindset. For me working as a photographer was the loneliest of professions. Because I made it that way. And as a result of that I started missing colleagues; banter, hanging by the coffee machine, eating lunch and helping each other with whatever issue it might be.
I always performed well working in an office. I can say that with confidence based on the feedback from my colleagues and managers, and based on the measured targets that put performance down on paper black on white. It is an arena where my insecurities are lowered, which is a great feeling for someone like me. With an ever-growing guilt of not earning any money and the also growing dislike in working on my own with all the challenges that comes with that, going back to an office job was one of the easiest things to do. I have now worked for my new job for close to 5 months. I am doing really well and I am truthfully enjoying it a lot. I feel confident, happy and excited about the job I am doing. And that is a wonderful feeling. Just like a 9-5 is not for everyone, being your own boss is also not for everyone.
With that said, I would absolutely love being a photographer full-time, if I only had the courage and belief in myself, something that I so very lack. Because I do love photography, and I do love editing even more so. Who knows, maybe one day, in some way.
Images in this blog entry are behind the scenes photos from the photography workshop I attended last year.