Insecurity - Can I Be Creative Again?
I often feel insecure as a photographer. Because of this, I was particularly interested in the observations about photographer’s insecurity by Jérôme Brunet, who is an award winning and internationally published music photographer. For Jérôme, photographer’s insecurity distills down to three questions,
“Can I keep producing?”
“Can I be creative again?”
“Am I valid?”
Last week’s blog addressed the first question. This week, let’s look at the second question.
Can I be creative again?
First of all, Jérôme and I are in a different place on the photography spectrum. I have not gotten to the “again” place. For me the question is, can I be creative? Do I even know what being creative means?
I think a lot of times this question comes to me as, “Can I ever create anything as good as the photographer who took this incredible picture that I am looking at on Instagram or Facebook?” Social media is definitely a mixed bag. You get to share your pictures and you get to see lots of pictures that other photographers have taken, but that can easily lead to the “compare a picture syndrome”.
The path that I am taking is to try to learn from the best pictures. What is it that I like about them? Is that quality something I can try to incorporate in my pictures? I am also trying to stretch as a photographer. For me, that means moving ever closer to the people I am photographing. Perhaps it is the case that I cannot create anything that good yet. But if I study and practice, I hope I will move incrementally toward my goal.
And then there is that elusive issue of developing personal style. Perhaps, for me, that is the creative goal. John Farnsworth has a style. So does Vicki Barnes, Susan Schiffer, Diane Beals, and Grant Ashford, to name a few in my Instagram community. When I see one of their pictures, I know who the photographer is. I cannot say that I have a plan for how I might move my work toward a unique creative style. Perhaps the first step is announcing it as a goal.
I know I can keep producing. Can I be creative? I do not know. But I sure am giving it “the old college try.”
Think about your pictures that you identify as the most creative. What distinguishes them in your mind?