We all struggle at times with our creativity, among so many other struggles in life. Our struggles vary and we handle them in different ways.
Creatively, for me right now, my biggest struggle is getting feedback through a portfolio review and image critiques. After a couple of months where I hated my own photography and didn’t feel like shooting, I’m hesitant to share what I love. Afraid that someone may say there is no growth there. Or have deep criticism of my work.
I understand why. I’ve come out of a time where I was highly critical of myself. And as I begin to love my work again, I’m trying to fight off my own criticism. So facing someone else’s criticism is even harder. I only want to love it for the time being. Yet, I know deep down that now is the perfect time for feedback. My photography has changed, hopefully improved or at least become more defined. Portfolio and image reviews would help me know what works and what doesn’t and before I fall into new bad habits, I can fix them.
Struggling With Feedback
You see, when feedback is your biggest struggle you tend to shy away from letting your light shine for others. I did. And by doing so, I limited my abilities. I limited my potential. And I limited connection with others. I’ve branched out though and am asking for critiques and sharing more of my work. As a result, I’ve seen growth and built more confidence. I can’t wait to create more now. I’m more proud of my work and I believe others when they tell me they love it. I believe myself when I say it is good. Because I established that belief through the feedback I received.
After all that time spent in a valley, I’m afraid to go back there. And rightfully so. But receiving feedback is a vital part of pulling out of a rut. It gives us courage, understanding, and most of all direction. It helps us move forward. That vulnerable place is scary, but with the courage to continue, the benefits are even better. It is why I offer private reviews of your photos and portfolio reviews. I want you to see the benefits but because it is hard to do I offer you all the areas you do well, along with a plan to improve, and all privately.
Fear of Creating
I’ve overcome the first fear – the fear of creating. Yes, I was fearful of creating – picking up that camera. Fearful because I was afraid I would hate what came out. Fearful that my product wouldn’t be any good. And if it isn’t good, then I’d lose my self validation. Have you ever felt that?
Fear of Feedback
But, I fought against that first fear. I tried many techniques, and continued to pick up the camera. And now I’ve come across my second fear – the critical eye of others. I’ve sat down and done the work. I’m creating and loving it more and more. That fear subsided but it metamorphosed into a new one – the fear of other photographers’ critical eyes.
So what did I do about it? The same as the first. Sit down to toil at the work, continue to push forward, and release it to a few trusted souls, although with trepidation. And continue to foster the flame and show it to the world, regardless of their thoughts.
It’s time to face the struggle head on and work at making my art better. It’s time to get feedback so I know what works and what needs improvement. It’s time to get the feedback so that I can work more confidently. It’s time to get the feedback so I can focus on my style and refine it. But most of all it’s time to get the feedback so I have more confidence to fight against the fear.
If you are interested at all in a review – 5 images or an entire portfolio – but are unsure please contact me and we can set up a time so I can answer you questions or concerns. And if you find it’s not for you right now, no pressure – I’m happy to help you realize that. Or if you want a little taste try out my one image review here.