Ok, let me begin this post by saying that it feels very weird to call myself an “artist.” I feel like that word should be reserved for painters, sculptors, people who are classically trained and produce works of art that should be in museums. But, I guess if you think about it…an artist is someone who takes their passion, their eye for beauty, and their desperation to capture feeling and emotion, and turns it into something interesting, beautiful, meaningful, or provoking.

I am not classically trained, and I can’t paint to save my life. But I feel deeply, I express myself in a medium called photography, and I hope that someone, somewhere finds something interesting, beautiful, meaningful, or provoking in my work. So therefore, I will tentatively call myself an “artist.”

So, as an “artist” (even after all that justifying, it still sounds weird), I swing back and forth between complete confidence and paralyzing insecurity. It’s funny…I think it takes both of those things to bring out my best work. If I was completely confident at all times,  I wouldn’t push myself, I wouldn’t keep learning, keep stretching my abilities. If I was too insecure at all times, I wouldn’t even pick up my camera for fear of failure. It takes equal parts of both to keep going, keep creating, keep putting myself out there, keep loving what I’m doing.

But some days, the insecurity creeps in. The discouraging words that hover in the back of my mind take hold in my heart.

Everyone and their mom are starting a photography business these days. With digital cameras so accessible, it doesn’t rquire any real talent to pick up a camera and call yourself a photographer…or worse, an artist…

But then something usually happens on those days when the confidence slips and the insecurity threatens to pour in. Something reminds me that there are kind, encouraging people in this world, who believe in me and believe in what I do. Today, a friend’s words brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face. A simple Facebook post from my lovely friend Erin of Photography by Erin reminded me why I do this. Because I love it. Because I’m passionate about it. Because I believe I’m good at it, and that it’s something I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Because it makes me happy.

And the thought that living my passion could encourage someone else to live theirs…well, that’s all the reassurance I need.

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2 thoughts on “Reminders

  1. Erin Gardner

    I completely agree with you on the whole “artist” thing, but you ARE an artist. A good eye for photography is something that comes naturally & not everyone has it. Times have definitely changed & with digital photography, yes it’s much easier to be better at photography than it used to be, but that’s when your passion, enthusiasm, hard work & dedication come into play. Photography warms your heart…it’s not just some 9-5 job, that someone can do & be successful at, without these qualities, without the drive & heart for it. Another thing is the editing portion of it. Getting a great shot is definitely key, but editing is something that also takes a good eye to do. Sure, anyone can learn Photoshop or any other photo editing program, but I’ve seen one too many times, people completely ruin a photo by doing a little TOO much with the photo. BUT…maybe that’s their style, who am I to judge another artist? (haha WOW…it really is strange to say that!)

    I love reading your blogs; your words alone show all of us your love for what you do. It’s especially nice to know that you deal with the same things as I do emotionally when it comes to doing this. Everyone struggles with insecurities & frustrations, as well. (Am I good enough? Will other photographers take me seriously if I didn’t go to school for this? Is my dream of making Photography a successful business even possible? So many people are pursuing photography as a profession now, what’s so special about little ol’ me?) I LOVED your blog “Momma Said There’d be Days Like This”, it was so touching. I wanted to comment on it, but had too many thoughts to put down into words.

    Wendy Norman: You. Are. Exquisite. You’re following your dream & pursing your passion, that alone is something you should be very proud of. I’m proud of you. You’re not ONE of my biggest, inspirations & mentors, you are THE biggest inspiration & mentor for photography in my life & for that I thank you. Thank you for your positivity, enthusiasm, help & for being someone very worth looking up to. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to ask me how my journey is going & for this blog, it means so much to me. I had a complete girly moment & got all choked up & teary-eyed reading it.

    Your work is INCREDIBLE & unique, just like you. You are going to go very far; look how far you’ve already come. 🙂

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