Over the years of practicing my photography, one lesson stands out: Photography requires confidence.
I have written about this before, and yet I still run across situations which force me to continue thinking about this. Having confidence is as important as your ability to create an image. Photography is not just about the gear. It’s about the people using it. You can have the most expensive camera equipment in the world but it means nothing if you don’t have the backbone to use it. Of all your photography skills, confidence is your most important. If you do not believe in your photography, no one else will. Here are five reasons to continue working on developing your confidence.
Being confident with your own eye will improve your photography
Don’t let others develop your eye. It helps if you don’t listen to others at first. Trusting your own judgment is something you must be able to do. Confidence in your own photography helps. Your eye is yours and yours only. As long as you know the basics of photography and proper exposure techniques, you can do what you like. Whenever people make suggestions on how you should create and image, that is just their point of view.
Confidence helps you to just get out there and shoot
Practicing your craft helps you build your confidence. To practice you need to get out there and work with your camera. With a lack of confidence you will always question your images. The best way to improve your images though is to actually get out there and shoot. Ask people if they want their portraits taken, or just get up early to go for a photo walk. Your first 10,000 images are your worst. Growing your confidence can help you get through them in no time.
Confidence helps you create
When you have confidence in your work you are more willing to go out and try new things. It’s easy just to fall into a comfort zone. It’s easy to become content with your work. Once you become content with your work, you have to have the will to push things further. With confidence in yourself you can move past your comfort zone. There are a ton of techniques out there to experiment with and learn. If you have confidence in your own work, you can grow your craft.
Confidence helps you deal with criticism
Photography has a LOT of critics. You can be your own best and worse critic though. Some of the criticism is valid. You will face rejection of your work. Some of the criticism is there to harm you. The internet is filled with faceless trolls who hide behind their animosity and anonymity. They attack your work because it is good. If you have confidence in your own work, the criticism will not get to you. With confidence you will learn to appreciate your own work and critique it accordingly.
Confidence help you acknowledge when you created a bad image
Not all your images will be masterpieces. You will take bad images. Failure is a part of photography. The best photographers have taken really crappy images at one point or another. They learned from their mistakes and moved on. Failures can be a great tool for learning, and it takes confidence to see this. Failure is one of the lenses that shape your reality. If you lack confidence, your failures will hold you back. So the best thing to do is to acknowledge your failures, accept them, learn from them and move on.