the story of an insecure photographer

See her hiding behind her hair? That’s the insecure photographer. That’s me.

An insecure photographer’s history in a nutshell:
I have always been insecure. I have always been painfully shy. I expect I always will be.
The End.

The problem with that?

Well, my heart happens to have attached itself to a love that requires some sense of confidence. Some form of comfort with interacting with others. My heart threw caution to the wind and fell madly, deeply in love. And gave no thought to how insecure me would feel about all of that. I have an inconsiderate heart, it seems.

So for a time, I pretended that I was not insecure. I pretended that I could be a photographer professionally.

The problem with that?

I don’t do well with pretending.

And so I failed. Well, I guess I should just let the painful truth out. I didn’t just fail. I allowed myself to fail. It was easier that way, if we’re going to be all truthful and stuff.

See, it’s painful to confront your fears. It’s actually really scary. To put yourself out there. To pretend like you are confident. And not shy. And not going to throw up or pass out or run out of the room at any given moment. Uncomfortable times, people. UNCOMFORTABLE TIMES. So instead of constantly feeling uncomfortable, why not say I’m not good enough? Why not just throw in the towel on my own terms? Why not say, I can’t do this? instead of someone else telling me I can’t do this?

So that’s what I did. I should also put out there that being a professional photographer is 5% about taking beautiful images, and 95% about business know-how. Which I had none of. I also had no ability to say no. So I shot things that I did not enjoy. And shot them far too cheap. And so that made it even easier to get frustrated and burned-out and much easier to just say I QUIT.

So I quit, sort of. I still take photos sometimes. I even have a project up my sleeve. But yeah, I pretty much quit.

But if you have been around this blog for any length of time, you have noticed that I have a complicated relationship with photography. I quit photography, even ignored it for a very long period of time. One time, it even went out to buy a pack of cigarettes, and didn’t come back! The nerve!

But I always went back. I can only stay away from my camera for so long. It brings me a comfort that nothing else in this world does. And as cheesy as that sounds, that’s something.

Now, I am not one of those poeple who thinks that just because you are good at something, you need to be doing it as a career, that you must make money at it. Quite honestly, I think that ruins a lot of people’s passions. It ruined mine. But that’s because my approach was completely wrong. I knew nothing about the business side of things. I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take. I didn’t understand that I could say no to people. There was so much I didn’t know. Or didn’t understand. And becuase I am so insecure, it was just much easier to run away.

And I had a pretty good pair of running shoes.

So I ran.

Funny thing is….I apparently run in circles. Because I never fail to come right back, huffing and puffing with leg cramps and short of breath, to the same spot. I need to take pictures. I want to take pictures. My true passion lies in macro. It always will. And while I know that I could make a go at the fine art world, well, I don’t want to. And yup, I know that is the insecure me talking, but that’s ok. I kind of like having macro as my own personal escape.

But I also have other photographic passions as well. And very slowly I am realizing that I can run all I want, but I am going to consistantly return to the same starting point. At some point, I am going to need to just admit that I need to make photography a part of my world. And just embrace that nagging punk and accept it into my world.

Which is what I am starting to do.

This is not to say that I will be putting a sign out any time soon. Because remember that insecure thing?  See…I want to do something with photography. But I’m scared. And insecure. And afraid of failure. And then what? I am a true believer that for most people in the business, you can go only so far. That may sound horrible and pessimistic, but it’s how I feel. That’s not to say that you can’t have a really good run of it, and even do it for 20 years, but then what? Unless you married well, how are you going to support yourself? I am a true believer in back-up plans.

SO. I decided I eventually want to be a photographer again. *GASP*  I don’t know to what capacity, but I need it in my life, so it’s a good starting point, right?

In the meantime, I need that back up plan….


5 Comments to “the story of an insecure photographer”

  1. Hi there,
    I found this post while surifng the photography tags and couldn’t help but read. I’m by no means a professional (I don’t live off my photography) but I just wanted to say that I clicked around your blog and I really don’t think you have anything to be insecure about as far as your photography goes. Really love your Macro nature photography, and your composition of quite a lot of the photographs filed under “travels.” There is nothing wrong with practicing photography only as a hobby. Personally I use my photographs mainly as my own personal souveniers from my travels around the world. But you should absolutely follow your heart and your passion. I also know nothing of the business side of photography, but hey, theres nothing wrong with starting small, maybe promoting here, building fans, and expanding by word of mouth. You’ll get there some day 😀 Keep it up though, I really like your photographs so I’ll be subscribing.


  2. Hi nice picture – far to many words for a dyslexic like me to read! – thanks

  3. Good luck! Based on that photo, you seem to have an eye for composition. Hope it works out for you.

  4. There is no reason why you cant fullfill your dream………you only have to beleive.

  5. Yeah well now photography is your back up plan. Keep the skills up. There may come a year or two you need to take off from the planned career and you can always be a second shooter. *Ahem* I might know a photographer who would hire you…or forty.

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