No matter how experienced we are as photographers, there are times when we can all do with a big shot of confidence. In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss proven techniques (some will surprise you!) that will boost your confidence and, in turn, help you take awesome photos.
Shout out to Sharon Ouliaris in Melbourne who is recovering from surgery and has been listening to the podcast from bed.
1. Confidence. What is it and why is it so important
Confidence vs Arrogance
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” – CS Lewis
1. Home truths about photography that you must get your head around before you can grow as an artist
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap.
“For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.
“A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.
“Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take a while. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” – Ira Glass
- Every artist sucks when they start out.
- Not everyone is going to love what you do. Haters are going to hate and lovers are going to love and some people will be neutral.
- Inspiration is a fickle slippery little sucker.
- Success is not how many clients you have, how much money you make how many likes or retweets your images get. Creative success is about following your heart and creating the work that moves you.
- Love what you create.
10 Things you can start doing today to improve your confidence
- Shoot every day.
- Show your work to photographers/artists you respect and get honest feedback.
- Stop comparing yourself to others.
- Enter competitions.
- Remember why you wanted to become a photographer in the first place.
- Get paid.
- Do a workshop with a photographer you respect. This can be in person or online
- Listen to people’s stories. How did they get where they are?
- Track your progress.
- Push yourself to try new things. Happiness is at the end of your comfort zone.
Practical tips you can use on shoots to help you overcome fear and feel and look more confident
- Get rid of nervous energy by exercising/dance/sing/walk/run.
- Square breathing.
- Walk tall, keep your shoulders back.
- Visualise yourself doing the shoot.
- Stay in the moment.
- When you ask people to do something always remember that they are not thinking about you, they are thinking about themselves.
- Learn the art of banter.
- Check, double check, triple check your gear before you head out.
- Write down everything you need to do in order.
- Check, double check your exposure before your model steps on set.
- Practice on Wayne or Kate until you can do it blindfolded.
- Learn 2 go to lighting set ups and 2 go to posing set ups and stick to them.
- Listen to music on your way to the shoot.