As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been taking a lot of pictures.
I’ve also been exploring the possibility of turning this hobby into a business. I’ve built a site. I’ve read close to ten books on the fundamentals and then some. I’ve camped Photo.net, Flickr and Digital Photography School for perhaps twice as long. I’ve practiced my behind off in recent months on my kids, the kids of my friends, gone on photowalks, bugged the hell out of more experienced photographers, and basically just photographing anything that’s not strapped down.
And yet, I’ve been a little afraid of calling myself a photographer. Much as I’ve been afraid of calling myself a writer (and I’ve been writing a while). Heck I can’t even call myself a blogger without feeling like a fraud because there ARE people who actually BLOG regularly who don’t even claim that.
When I go out with Lokes for his social gatherings with business colleagues, I say I’m a stay-at-home mom, and then Lokes will let slip the fact that I blog, write and is now a “portrait photographer”. I cringe because they all make me sound like I am doing everything and therefore am not good at anything. Really, a writer? One miserable short story, that’s all I’ve published the last two years. A blogger? I am perhaps the laziest, most inconsistent blogger in the history of lazy inconsistent blogging. A portrait photographer? This is the worst because I’d have my camera with me and people will start asking to have their pictures taken and my fingers get clammy and I’d stutter a little when I say, “Okay…ss-say…cheese?” and I’d start thinking, “Great, now I have to spend my evening trying to save my semi-semi-pro photos…”
Usually, the photos turn out great (without the help of Photoshop too!). Sometimes, I also blog or write something worth reading. And yet, my self esteem is taking a very very long time to catch up on whatever it is I’ve set my heart on doing. That is why I’ve had problems “marketing” myself beyond building a blog. How do I get rid of this fear of feeling like I’m not worth getting paid for my services?
The only thing that motivates me is a practical consideration: that times are getting harder, and one income may not hack it much longer, and I will need to GET OVER myself THIS MINUTE before it’s too late.
Nothing like a little tough love.