Not good enough

by Ginger on November 25, 2008

in Taking Pictures

So I was chugging along in my little learning photography bubble, happy as a little clam with how I was progressing and some of the shots I was getting, when WHAM!

Self-doubt and insecurity hit me.

Yes, folks, I’ve been hit with the dreaded “I’m not good enough” bug. It started when I was looking through the pictures I took this weekend, and over 2/3 of them were crap. Out of focus, bad lighting, poorly composed, and just…blech.

I felt it even more as I looked through some of the amazing photos other bloggers are posting and started to look with a embarrassed sideways glance at my own shots.

My symptoms got worse as I tried desperately to shoot a photo decent enough for exposaroonie. And after seeing some of the other submissions, I felt like just going home and declaring a sick day.

Then, it intensified when I was looking for pictures to submit to the Daily Focal Point for Cabe’s weekly photo challenge. When he posted the photos (mine included) frankly, my not-good-enough-itis was a full blown disease. I felt like a fraud. Seriously, I like the photo I submitted but there’s no way it should be up there with the others.

I’m feeling a distinct…lack. All of a sudden I’m embarrassed by the pictures I’ve posted, with this insane urge to take them off the interwebs and hide them in the dark reaches of my hard drive where only I can look at them. I’m hesitant all of a sudden about putting my photos on this blog, on other blogs, on flickr, or god forbid, sharing a photo with one of the flickr groups or photo blogs I joined in my enthusiasm in the past few months. My stuff’s not good enough, they’re going to laugh at me, why am I even bothering?

I’m not posting this as an attempt to garner kudos for what I’ve done, but rather to force myself to acknowledge this feeling of inadequacy. I feel like the only way I’m going to keep growing is if I acknowledge that no, my stuff isn’t very good. It’s not. And that’s ok. I need to learn more, shoot more, try more before I get to good. Occasionally, yes, I will get a nice shot–I think that the law of averages takes care of that. I’m looking to get a good shot more than every once in a while. Maybe even with a couple of great shots per shoot. I’m looking to feel proud of my photos next to other peoples. And I’m not there yet.

I have to be ok with that, and keep shooting or I’ll never get there.

KJ November 25, 2008 at 8:09 pm

I have these same kind of thoughts, Ginger. I just commented about it over at The Daily Focal Point. As soon as I saw the first of the other photos, I thought, “Oh why did I send him MY photo?!?!”. I think its perfectly natural to have this feeling.

Don’t be embarassed to share your photos or participate in photo groups, blogs, etc. I think its a great way to challenge yourself and learn more.

And every photographer that I admire, always has the same advice…shoot much and shoot often! They also frequently admit how many crappy photos it takes to get one or two good ones. My computer’s recycle bin can attest to this as well!! 🙂

KJ´s last blog post..jet setter for the day

Cabe November 25, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Oh Ginger I’m so sorry. You know what’s funny? I HONESTLY have the exact same feeling. I’m not kidding. I have the SAME thoughts of “Why on earth am I posting my pictures on a daily basis when there are so many talented people who post BETTER pictures than mine ON MY OWN WEBSITE???!!!!!!!”” I mean I do this part-time. Not even part time! I do this when I have an hour in-between when I’m awake and my new baby is sleeping!

Please don’t worry about this Ginger. The point of my photo challenges is so that I (and I hope others) can learn from each other’s different perspectives. I’ve also learned that if you don’t place yourself out there you will never grow. When you place yourself out there you can’t but help to get these feelings.

Point is that I get these feelings all the time and it’s my own site. I love your photo’s ginger, you and I have the exact same style of shooting. It’s all about composition and you understand that.


Cabe´s last blog post..Wait Wait!! One more…

Angela November 25, 2008 at 8:52 pm

Who says these pictures are no good? Think of all the artists who make CRAP for a living and get famous for it!

Angela´s last blog post..Ten On Tuesday, 11/18/08

mary elizabeth November 25, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Ginger! Hi — I’ve been admiring your photos on the DFP the last few weeks and I want to tell you, I definitely know how you feel. Photography is such a wonderful thing, I love to spend time looking at others work… Mostly doing that inspires me, but sometimes it just makes me so depressed! 😀

It comes with the terms in this business. I have doubts all. the. time.

But — this last year has been an incredible one for me. I set a goal at the end of last December to take pictures all the time. I orignally set out to take at least one picture a day… a few months into it I couldn’t quite keep up with that, but I was shooting anything + everything I could when I had time. The more and more you shoot, the better you get. And I can attest to that. If you look at my photos from earlier this year, to my photos now… you can see the difference.

Keep your head up, your pictures really are beautiful. I really have enjoyed getting to know you a little bit better through your work (and your blog!). And remember, we all go through the doubts, it’s only natural! But don’t doubt yourself because you really are so extremely talented!!

Sarah November 26, 2008 at 6:49 am

You put into words exactly what I was trying to express in my blog post, where I was freaking out about Exposaroonie. And I laugh, because I look at your pictures and tend to start to curl in a ball because mine will never compare with yours!
What you wrote is 100% true: “I feel like the only way I’m going to keep growing is if I acknowledge that no, my stuff isn’t very good. It’s not. And that’s ok. I need to learn more, shoot more, try more before I get to good…….I have to be ok with that, and keep shooting or I’ll never get there.”
So lets help each other and work with each other!

Sarah´s last blog post..The One Where I Ask You To Pick A Picture

Ginger November 26, 2008 at 9:40 am

Thanks everyone for your supportive comments! It does help, strangely, to know that other folks feel the same way occasionally.

@Cabe, I hope you don’t feel like I’m upset with you or your challenges–if anything, I feel lucky that you have a site where you’re willing to showcase newcomers and pros together!

I don’t have any plans to pull my images, or to stop shooting, but I will come back to all your words when I’m struggling with whether I think any of my work is good enough to submit to something, or post on my blog. The whole point is to learn and grow right?

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