Diane Wehr Street Photography
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Dedicated to Street

A Street Photography Blog

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.

Photo by Jason D. Little. Used with permission.

I was amazed when I first saw Jason’s picture of the extraordinary photographer, Louis Mendes. You can see Jason’s Instagram gallery at @jdevaunphotography, his Instagram film gallery at @halide.hustle and his website j.Devaun photography.

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?

Photo by Ana Lucia Ciffoni. Used with permission.

Ana is being a very creative photographer here. You can see her gallery on Istagram at @anaciffoni.

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”.

Photo by Alan Hernandez. Used with permission.

Alan was giving this photographer some tips on how to take better pictures with a mobile phone. He encouraged her to shoot from a low angle. By golly, she did. You can see Alan’s Instagram gallery at @alan17h.

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.

Photo by Ron Giacone. Used with permission.

For me, this is a classic, almost stereotypical, NYC street photographer that Ron has photographed. You can see Ron’s gallery on Instagram at @nycdigital.

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.”

Exercise

Think about your pictures that you identify as the most creative. What distinguishes them in your mind?