the unneeded safety net

I have always wanted to be a photographer.
I have always wanted to capture those little details, the happiest of memories, people’s personalities.
But as my mom always likes to point out “(I) like the MOST competitive fields”. It’s true and to be honest I hate it. Because when it comes down to it; if things are competitive, I drop out. I don’t feel good enough about what I have created to fight for my art. & just because I don’t have thousands of followers on my Instagram page or I’m being booked up every weekend, I feel like a failure.
When my sweet husband got me my first camera our first (married) Christmas, he did NOT know what he was getting himself into! So many late nights spent editing, crying that my pictures weren’t good enough, telling him I’m “stopping this photography nonsense” because I simply was not good enough in my mind.
Everyone has it so much in their minds that everything has to perfect ESPECIALLY photographs coming from a photographer. They must be completely centered and perfectly colored.
Well soon enough, I found out about these things called Presets. If you don’t know what a preset is, basically a photographer creates these sort of filters that edits your photos to make them fit a certain style. I can’t lie, I bought some and used them for a while! The colors in them were not colors I usually were able to obtain through editing because I never played with the colors in Lightroom really before. They were great! They made me feel like a million bucks and I even remember telling Chad how much these presets “stepped up my photography game”. But, the style was not my own. I felt like because MY style wasn’t getting the love I thought it deserved and in order to stay afloat in the photography community, I had to start being trendy enough that people would want me to take their pictures. It’s not true! I didn’t truly need the safety net of presets for my art to be “good”.
The other day, I ended up posting a picture back from a little after I first got my camera.
said photo
I turned to Chad and was like “Wow! I didn’t know just how well this photo came out. I love it!”. He immediately was like “because you didn’t over think it!”. It wasn’t centered. It wasn’t in the moody category or full of trendy colors or grains. IT WAS MY STYLE.
Along the way, I kept wanting to quit photography because I wasn’t being true to MYSELF. Being so determined to “make it” I thought I needed to blend in instead of standing out (which is NOT like me at all). It made me miserable. So, I have put the presets down and realized that the original is ALWAYS better than the copy.
Not trying to be braggy but it’s been some of my best work ever since!
Also, since when does everything have to be a competition?!? And why do people only want what is trendy?! We need to empower everyone to be their own selves!
One more story… so for those who know me, I loathed my wedding photos when I got them back. Not because they weren’t amazing but because I went with a certain photographer that was super trendy at the time and I wanted her editing on my photos. Well as time goes on, I see some of the photos from that time period and sometimes think, Wow that looks so dated! Because it was so trendy to edit a certain way. So now I am SO glad she didn’t edit them the way I thought she was going to because they are timeless & classic. They are absolutely perfect and I’m still obsessed with them!! (shoutout to Kylee Patterson)
Moral of the story: YOU DO YOU. Don’t let the world tell you what’s trendy and what you “should” do. Be your own person & do what makes you happiest.

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