A few days ago I realized that it was the 1-year anniversary of me picking up my camera. (INSANE!) When I picked up my camera, I was overwhelmed by all the many things I had to learn: aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, metering…it’s a lot. A year ago, I took this picture of my son (and while I love it and the moment that it captured), this photo was taken on auto in a moment where I had no idea how to use my camera in any way whatsoever.
Little did I know that it wasn’t only learning your camera, but it was also learning all the other jobs that come along with being a photographer: editor, marketer, website designer, SEO expert, blogger, book-keeper/accountant. This past year has been a roller coaster. Below are just some ramblings about my past year and the struggle that it has been to get where I am right now (and I still have so far to go). If anyone out there is in a creative job right now and needs some encouragement, I hope this helps in some way!
Just keep your head above.
I have so many days in this creative process where I just want to lay in bed with the blankets over my head, eating unending McDonalds fudge sundaes. Before I picked up my camera, I never knew the debilitating lows that would come with picking up that camera body. The self-doubt, the feeling that you’re never getting better at your craft, the competition–it’s rough! As creatives I feel our highs can be very high and our lows can feel very low–and this year has had a lot of highs and lows. I encourage you to just keep your head above water, remember that a bad day isn’t going to ruin you, you will get better, you will get busier, you will become stronger. I am saying this as much to myself, as I am to anyone else–because it’s almost a daily struggle between thinking “hey, I’m okay at this”…and contemplating putting all my camera gear on kijiji as a ‘going out of business sale’. Just keep your head above, and see how far you’ve come.
As I’ve developed over this past year and learned, I’ve been trying to find exactly what my photography style is. For anyone who has been keeping up with my work and has seen several shifts in my shooting and editing style, I apologize—I’ve been trying to find myself. Defining my photographing style has been imperative, but has only been something I’ve really been starting to find and develop recently. If you’re in your first year of being a creative and find yourself just trying to find yourself–that’s okay! People are always, always, always, changing their styles. Don’t believe me? Find your favourite creative, check out their work over the past few years and notice how it changes–change is good!
Comparison is the thief of joy.
When I first picked up my camera, Pinterest was my endless source as “inspiration”—I say endless because I would literally go from photo to photo, browsing for hours. Since then, I have avoided Pinterest as much as I can (I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest for finding recipes that indulge the chocolate-lover in me); however, the cycle of comparison is hard to get out of. Comparison will really steal your thunder and instead of motivate you, it cripples your sense of creativity. I find Pinterest is great for start-up photographers because it’s basically the biggest magazine you could ever want to read–you can get pose ideas, learn basics of your camera, read articles + tips from other photographers. However, the danger of getting sucked into looking at what others are doing can really hurt you instead of driving you forward. Focus on you, not on what is going on around you. The only person you should be in competition with is your past self, always try to see how far you have come.
I titled this blog post “Don’t Quit Your Day Dream” because there were many times where I wanted to give up–and in many ways, this is still a dream that I am chasing after. By no means whatsoever am I the best, most successful, or experienced photographer–but, I know that I’m learning and growing day by day, session by session. That’s all that matters. Focus on you and how you change and grow–not on how far you have to go! Below is a photo from my most recent session, 1-year later.
In lieu of me starting this photography journey one-year ago, I am so excited to announce that I have a giveaway going on over on my facebook page!
In order to enter for the giveaway, you must go to my facebook page and from there:
- LIKE Caroline Elizabeth Photography
- COMMENT on the post telling me what brings you the most joy (could be anything, even McDonalds fudge sundaes 😉 )
- SHARE the post to your feed (must be set to public)
*Prize can be used for one session of your choice; either a Couple/Engagement, Portrait, Family or Maternity Session! Giveaway details! 1-hour session at location of your choosing, 20-25 edited images. $150 value. Winner must be in Ontario, Canada and must be within my travel range. Contest closes at 10 PM on November 15th.*