Today’s Contemplation

Red Dots

I've been thinking about my photography a lot lately. I do want to make it a career but I just don't know if I have what it takes to be a professional photographer. I know I'm a good photographer, as in I have the eye. What I'm lacking is the people skill. I'm not very good with people. Hell, I'm SCARED of people. That's why I prefer taking pictures of landscape and animals to taking pictures of people. Unfortunately, there is no money in that. At least not for me since I know there are many other photographers who make a boatload of money from landscape and animal photography. I like to think that I just haven't got to that stage YET (my sad attempt at positive thinking) but what if I'll never get to that stage? People seem to like my work but apparently not enough to want to own it and hang it on their walls (except for the few people who do have my work hanging on their walls or have bought my work, you know you're awesome).

I really need to get over my fear of people. Not really an easy thing to do if you were me. I grew up in a society where people are super judgmental. Growing up, my father seemed to care more about what our neighbours think about us than what WE think about us. I've had the idea that people are evil because they judge, because you'll never know what they say about you behind your back, planted in my head for so long that it's become almost impossible to pull out.

Now that I'm living in another country and another society, I know I should give people another chance, especially since I need to market my skills to people in order to help the family economy (not that we live in poverty or anything but we do need to travel). I've also met some super nice people here whom I know won't judge me or talk nasty about me behind my back. I know that by fearing people, I'm being judgmental myself, which makes me one of those people I fear, and it's so screwed up that I don't know what to think about that. In fact, I've never thought about it before. Oh the wonder of stream of consciousness writing!

I guess what I need to do is: (1) stop judging people/seeing them as monsters; (2) figure out what I'd like to focus on in my professional photography (I'm thinking family, maternity, pet, and children, and maybe small weddings); (3) revamp my portfolio site to make it more business-like and put in some new work that I'm proud of; (4) do some marketing; (4a) make some business cards; (4b) maybe put some ads somewhere?; and last but not least (5) practice talking on the phone (I'm telephonophobic -- when I'm talking on the phone, my brain shrinks to pea-size).

On an unrelated note, I fell in love with the music of Frances England today (I'm a sucker for sweet, folksy, kiddy songs) and would someone please buy both her CDs for me, kthxbai.

5 Comments

  1. Jordan
    October 7, 2008

    I think you should def­i­nite­ly go for it. I know what it’s like to be scared of peo­ple. I think the secret is just prac­tice. It sounds absurd–practice talk­ing to peo­ple, prac­tice talk­ing on the phone–but I think it real­ly works. It will be hard, for sure, but as long as you take it one step at a time I think you’ll do great. Your goals in the fourth para­graph are a great start, as well. If you can break those down into small­er, more incre­men­tal steps I don’t think any­thing will stand in your way.

    Reply
  2. tia
    October 7, 2008

    Wow, you updat­ed!
    You should work for Nat­Geo, dear. Lions are not as nasty as human :)

    Reply
  3. Stu
    October 9, 2008

    It could be worse. You could be Brodie in Mall­rats:
    “I like peo­ple, I hate gath­er­ings. Isn’t it iron­ic?”

    Reply
  4. Kaley
    October 9, 2008

    Fir­da — you are so tal­ent­ed it would be sick if you gave up! And you are also incred­i­bly artic­u­late and cre­ative — peo­ple skills can be learned — I’m scared of peo­ple too, espe­cial­ly with the judg­ing. But — seri­ous­ly — your work will stand and speak for itself! I sup­pose it is the bal­ance between com­mer­cial suc­cess and your own artis­tic incli­na­tion. Not that the­se are always oppo­si­tion­al, but I can see how one can pay for the oth­er. I would love to own more of your pho­tos — some­day I will. Too bad yr not closer to Cal­gary! My sis­ter has got­ten loads of com­pli­ments on her wed­ding pho­tos!

    Reply
  5. Chris
    October 29, 2008

    Hey me again. We are in the same boat. I shoot as well and would LOVE to take into a career some­day. I can­not stand doing por­trait work but know the mon­ey is there. I have looked into stock pho­tog­ra­phy but can­not get a clear pic­ture of how it works. I would rather shoot a still sub­ject and see it plas­tered on a wall some­where. I have 2 kids under 5 and peo­ple are always com­ment­ing on the great pics. When i take pics of oth­er peo­ples kids they are just ok… Must be a com­fort zone thingy… Any­way I am glad I found this blog now LOL
    Cheers

    Reply

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