The creative mindset is HARD. Not only are we our own worst critics but creatives dog on themselves the worst!
We compare ourselves to our idols.
We compare ourselves to our friends.
We compare ourselves to OURSELVES.
We constantly wonder if we're enough, if our talent is enough, if we have *it*
As a professional editor, I get a lot of messages.
"Is this too bright?" "How does this look?" "I totally screwed up this session." "I'm not really happy with these images." "The bride is going to hate these." "I'm so ashamed of this session."
1% of the time, I can see room for improvement and give my thoughts.
The other 99% of the time, I don't see ANYTHING I would change. I've seen STUNNING, GORGEOUS, TIMELESS, FLAWLESS images that photographers beat themselves up on- the same images that stop me in my tracks and have me drooling.
So what gives? These are my thoughts about why creatives, especially photographers, beat themselves up.
1. You're tying in your emotions
Were you rushed on the way there? Stressed that you forgot your third camera battery at home? A lot of times our emotions/mental state at the time get baked into our images. Even though it's a gorgeous image, we remember that bad feeling we had when we took it and it ruins it for us. Sometimes it's not about you and what you were feeling, it's about your client and how happy they were. Don't let bad juju ruin gorgeous images for you!
2. You expect the worst from your client
Some of us get REALLY anxious about whether or not our client will love their images. We start doubting ourselves and anticipating that our client will absolutely hate them. First of all, when has a client ever absolutely hated their images from you? Second of all, your client CHOSE you, they PICKED you, they HIRED you! No one held a gun to their head and forced them to book with you and you didn't mislead them about what you can do. They've seen your portfolio, they've seen your work, they are EXPECTING exactly what they KNOW you can produce. As long as you're giving your best and you put your effort in, your client will be happy!
3. You're comparing.
"It's good but..." is usually followed by you comparing your image to someone else's. Comparison is the thief of joy. Like I said before, only about 1% of images shown to me need an adjustment (and it's usually with the white balance and the blacks) but the rest are absolutely perfect. Aspiring to greatness is one thing but comparing yourself to others and destroying your creativity is another (and it's not cool).
Fighting this mindset is HARD and it'll never go away completely. There will be days that you'll doubt yourself and days you beat yourself up but you should try not to let yourself get to yourself! You are awesome. You have value. You have talent. You have INCREDIBLE abilities. You were hired because you have the skills for the job. Never forget it and celebrate your awesomness.