Insecurity - Can I Keep Producing?
I was listening to a podcast that featured Jérôme Brunet, who is a award winning and internationally published music photographer. The topics moved around, but I was particularly interested in Jérôme‘s observation that almost all photographers, and artists, at some time suffer from “insecurity”. I am glad to know that it is not just me. He distilled the insecurity into three questions, “Can I keep producing? Can I be creative again? Am I valid?”
Let’s look at the first question.
Can I keep producing?
I am an amateur photographer. I ask myself this question fairly often, but I do understand that it is an entirely different question for professional photographers who literally put bread on the table by producing good work. I cannot speak to that. In fact, I would guess each of us has a different angle on the problem of continuing to produce.
When I worry about that, it is a two-fold issue. I started this great adventure with street photography tens years ago, and even then, I was no spring chicken. Let me assure you, I tire more easily now. Really, a lot of the time I wonder if I have it in me to even get out, let alone take quality pictures. My solution is to re-frame the problem. I go out, not just because of my desire to take pictures, but as a way to get exercise, which is a must-do for me, and have life enriching experiences which is also a must-do for me. It is much harder for me to opt to stay home in the face of this powerful triad of reasons to go.
It also helps me to make a personal commitment to go out and shoot. My rule is that I have to shoot street photography in Nashville at least once a week. It is easier for me to shoot events like festivals or county fairs or parades. I check Nashville Guru for interesting things going on in the community early in the week and make my plans. In that regard, I am proud. I said I would do that in the blog, “Where Can You Go in Your Town To Do Photography?” By golly, I am doing it. Which is not to say that it is always easy. I am currently choosing evening events because it has been so hot this summer. Practically without fail, I have to convince myself to just carry out the plan, tired or not. I am never sorry that I make the decision to go.
Finally, my personal failing is my fear that when I go out, I will not take quality pictures that I can be happy with. When I come home, I am still convinced that I have not taken any pictures that I would want to keep. Because of that, I almost never download the pictures immediately. You know what? I am always wrong. There are always a couple of pictures that please me.
I do not know if you have ever had the fear about whether you can continue to produce quality pictures, or what the nature of that fear is for you. I do believe, however, that if you think of it as a solvable problem, you will find a solution.
Can I keep producing? I think I can.
Have you ever worried about continuing to produce in photography? Do you know what caused that worry? Did you find a way to get past it?