Have you ever gone through a period of time when you couldn’t quite put your thoughts into words? It took a lot of time to sort out exactly what was on your mind. Then, all of a sudden, DING! The lightbulb goes on and you finally have clarity!
Whelp, I’ve been in that place since I last posted here on the blog (which was in September). I have a case of writer’s and poster’s block, so to speak. When it came time to write a blog post, send a newsletter, post on Facebook or share a photo on Instagram, I have been at a loss.
You see, I’ve shifted my creative focus away from a craft that I’ve gotten pretty good at (refinishing furniture) to one that I’m building up my skills in (product photography).
Truth be told, I’ve been getting really down on myself because my product photos aren’t up to the same standards of my furniture photos. (At least in my opinion.)
Taking pictures of products like cans, paintbrushes and paint is a completely different kind of photography and requires a new set of skills.
I suppose I expected to be a master of it right away. What I’m finding is that it’s a lot harder to create the beautiful images I have in my head.
To be honest, it this made me feel like a failure and a tad embarrassed. I didn’t want to share my photos on social media because they didn’t stack up to images from my heroes like Miss Mustard Seed, The Tattered Magnolia, Coral and Hive and Agata of Prima Sort. I started following expert product photographers who have a style that I admire, and as I practice, I discovered that their works are a lot harder to recreate than I imagined.https://www.instagram.com/p/CWgTeA2sgA0/
All of this was swirling around in my head when I listened to an episode of The Creative Exponent’s Podcast on Judging Your Creative Work Fairly.
Here’s the description of the episode:
In this podcast episode, Shaunna & Marian chat about judging your creative work fairly, especially when you’re a beginner in a specific discipline, trying a new medium, or learning a new skill. So many people, us included, try something once and determine they are bad at it. Let’s give ourselves time to grow.
During this half hour podcast, Marian and Shaunna talked about how hard we are on ourselves when we try something new. We want to be good at it right away and we don’t give ourselves time to develop our skills. Part of that is probably pride, but a good deal of it is the pressure to show what we’re doing all the time on social media.
If you produce a product for your business, your Instagram and Facebook feeds are filled with images of the things you create, right? Well, what do you do when the things you’re creating are still at the practicing stage? Why can’t it be okay to post our work in progress?
The beginning days of social media and blogging were all about seeing things in progress. Things weren’t as polished and you didn’t have to be a master right out the gate.
It’s very different now. If you start your own business or brand on social media, it needs to be on point right away. There’s a lot more pressure. The gals said that technology is outpacing us and we’re forever having to catch up to the next best thing, app, technique, etc.
After The Creative Exponent’s podcast, I listened to an episode of The Beginner Photography Podcast. I can’t remember which one it was (because there are over 200) but I do remember the host speaking to the same thing as Marian and Shaunna.
We should embrace our own creativity and allow ourselves to be ever-growing photographers. No one will ever “arrive” at perfection, so we should adapt an air of humility. There’s always something new to learn!
I know this blog post is really word-heavy, but believe me when I tell you that it’s been difficult to get them all out and organized.
If you’ve stuck with me for this long, then here’s a high five and an encouragement for you to not feel embarrassed about where you are in your creative journey. In the words of Shaunna and Marian, let’s give ourselves time to grow.