Photographers are a funny breed. Especially those of us that have previously worked in the corporate world. My first career taught me that there are correct ways of doing things. Answers were right or wrong. Let’s be honest, as a Chartered Accountant creativity was frowned upon, if not downright illegal!
While retraining as a photographer, I constantly struggled with the need to do things the right way. It was fascinating to watch my classmates, some of whom had the same struggles, others who had no qualms at all about just trying things. Randomly having a go. It freaked me out at first, but then I began to let go, to loosen up just a little. I started experimenting with multiple exposures, toy cameras and some alternative photographic processes. I started moving the camera while I was taking pictures, and all of this experimentation was done on my trusty film camera. Waiting for the slides or negatives to be processed was both nerve wracking and exciting – especially if it was an assignment due for submission…
Those days are long gone, and I’m really enjoying my photographic career now. But every now and then a niggle appears, a little doubt sneaks up on me. It’s no coincidence that it’s usually triggered by another photographer… An innocent comment about gear, technique or post processing. Just this weekend I accompanied my friend (also a pro photographer) to my first German wedding here in Stuttgart. As I wasn’t shooting for the client, I took along minimal gear – including my beloved Lensbaby. I was taking a few shots of the details, when she casually mentioned that she never uses her Lensbaby any more, she prefers to apply a similar effect in post processing. Apparently she can’t even sell it as nobody is using them any more. Gulp. Major self doubt. Had I completely missed the boat? I vowed to check out the software that she mentioned. But I haven’t done it yet. And guess what? I’m not going to!
I love my current workflow. I love hanging out with my camera and creating beautiful images using my lens baby. I love post processing too, but not quite as much. And that’s when I had a moment. I love the images I create. Does it really matter how I create them?
Do you ever doubt yourself, just because somebody else does things differently? How do you deal with it? I’d love to hear from you! Have a great week, Coralie XoXo