On my path to becoming a top photographer, identifying an assumption about my own skills and abilities was pretty easy:
“I want to live the life of a professional photographer, but I’m not sure I am technically skilled enough yet to do that yet.”
I spent the week doing some research, defining words like “professional” and “technically skilled.”
I also asked friends, colleagues and strangers for their feedback on my assumptions and on my photographs, too.Â (Ever do that? It’s gut wrenching at first, but you’ll get over it).
After a few days, it was pretty eye-opening to realize that my assumptions were all self-imposed and self-defined.Â Like I was trying to live up to some sort of accepted universal definition of those words.
And here’s the rub – no matter how good I think I am, or how good others say I am, I always define this gap between where I am and where I think I need to be.
I used to call that gap my “growth opportunities.”
But now with photography, I seem to define that gap as “I’m less than.” That in some way that gap has to be justified, defended or explained as to why it exists. When the hell did that happen?
What makes a “Top Photographer?”
In a post I wrote a while ago, I singled out 8 top photographers who have really made a name for themselves in the photography world.
I went beyond their images and started looking in to what these top photographers actually do — and what I found was pretty consistent
- As artists, they are passionate creators of beautiful images
- They share their knowledge, stories and experiences with the world
- They create opportunities for other photographers to learn and practice their passions
And for a moment, I let myself think that I was a top photographer – because I think I am on the path to doing those things right now
- I create beautiful images as an artist — it’s my passion
- I share knowledge stories and experiences with the world by being a part of 8 Women Dream
- I have created opportunities for others to learn and practice their passions by starting The Sonoma County Photography Group — a group that has grown to 315+ members in 17 months, and has the reputation for being a fun and ‘safe’ place to learn
So my own assumption of “I d like live my life as a top photographer but I don’t think I’m technically skilled enough yet to do that” is totally bunk.
And now my intentions are clear. I can live any passionate life I want. I can learn anything I need to and get technically better.
The question now is: How “top” do I want to be?
Until next photo,
Remy’s dream is creating opportunities for photography showings and public displays of her work.