I’d like to introduce you to the person stopping you from achieving your photography goals

Above: Image by Gina Milicia

Do you daydream about taking amazing photos like the ones you see in magazines, galleries or social media/ The ones that stop you in your tracks and make you gasp in wonder and green with envy at the same time? What do these photographers have that’s missing in your images?

Is it the gear they use?
Is it the locations or talent they work with?
Is it technical knowledge or postproduction skills?

What if I told you all these photographers have in common has nothing to do with the factors listed above.

What if I were to tell you that technique, talent or gear has very little to do with greatness and that one of the main reasons you have not achieved your goals comes down to one person – Dave. That’s right, I said Dave is the reason you haven’t reached your goals yet.

Who the hell is Dave? I’m glad you asked, let me explain.

Dave has been living with you your entire life, you just didn’t know it. I’m not sure how to say this politely, so I’m just going to come out and say that Dave is a selfish A-hole whose sole purpose in life is to undermine all your attempts to move forward in life and achieve your dreams.

Remember the first time you started taking photos and took a shot you were really proud of but then doubt crept in and you started questioning your ability? That’s a classic Dave move, you see, Dave has a way of getting into your head and undermining your confidence. He will find 100 reasons why your image sucks. He is a master of focusing on the negative.

When you are out and about with your camera and notice someone interesting that you’d like to photograph, it’s Dave that talks you out of approaching that person. He’ll convict you that it’s not a good idea because they will probably say no.

When you are about to share your images online, Dave will begin his sledging campaign “I wouldn’t share that if I was you, it’s not very good, nobody will like it, you suck” I told you Dave wasn’t cool!

If a friend or college asks you to photograph their wedding, Bar Mitzvah or birthday party, it’s Dave that convinces you that you are not ready and probably never will be.

Dave will convince you that it’s safer to stay home and watch Netflix and eat a tub of ice cream than head out and work on your folio or take a class to learn new skills.

Dave thinks your bum does look too big in those jeans.

Dave will remind you daily that you are better of being safe and unhappy than taking a risk and trying new things.

Dave is happiest when you stay small.

So now that you know about Dave, I’ll give you the bad news first. You can’t shut him up or get rid of him. He is with you for life. Yep, you are stuck with this mean, nasty so and so forever. Now before you stop reading and go eat the entire contents of the fridge and binge watch Netflix, I have some excellent news. Ok, maybe grab some ice cream, I’ll wait…

The good news, no the great news is that while you can’t turn Dave off entirely, you can turn him down or mute him for a while. When Dave gets muted, life gets better. Your confidence returns, your focus is better, and you now can hone and master new skills without Dave undermining your every attempt.

To turn down or mute Dave, all you need to do is notice him. When you are about to turn down an opportunity because Dave says you’re not ready, just ask “Is that you, Dave? I didn’t ask for your opinion, please be quiet,” Trust your gut instincts, you’ve got this! The more you notice Dave, the less impact he will have on you. Get quiet and tune in, Dave runs the same messages every day, you will start to notice a pattern.

You already have everything you need to be successful. The only thing standing in your way is Dave.

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Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

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