Photographer’s anxiety and how to deal with it:
A few months ago I made the decision to stray away from solely landscape and astrophotography, and to start doing more portrait sessions. Why? Because it terrifies me. I remember reading that if something scares you, then you should do it and I realized that I was avoiding challenging myself because I was afraid of failure. I’ve learned, though, that when we do something that we’re not comfortable with, we grow, and that’s what I feel that I’ve been doing since I graduated last month.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get anxious before and during my sessions. I get the kind of anxiety where my palms sweat and I feel like I’m hyperventilating and that I might as well stop while I’m ahead before I do something embarrassing. I start thinking that I’m not good enough, or that I’ll screw something up and have to refund my clients but, in reality, I’ve never done anything that was detrimental to my reputation as a photographer and every session has gone smoothly. I’m still trying to get comfortable with posing people and being more confident, but I’m getting there. The more that I shoot, the better I get and the more secure I feel as a photographer.
The Ross Family’s session last week was no exception. I felt so nervous before and during that I thought I would faint. I started prepping for their photo shoot a few days in advance by saving some pose inspiration on Pinterest, and by making a schedule for the shoot. I researched the best time for golden hour in Rexburg and then got to our location 30 minutes early to scope out some places that I thought would work. Doing these things helped ease my photographer’s anxiety and I felt like I could handle anything that would come up. I’ve hardly felt surprised or unprepared for my sessions, so I must be doing something right. Right?
Anyway, the Ross family was such a joy to shoot. They got together for a baby blessing and wanted to have a big group picture to document their time together. That was their only true request, so it left me with a lot of room for creativity. I’m pretty pleased with how everything went and with the photos that I was able to capture. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m still trying to push myself and to expand my comfort zone. I realize that my work is not perfect, but it’s mine, so I’m pretty proud of that.
If you struggle with photographer’s anxiety, know that you’re not alone. Many of us deal with anxiety on a daily basis and there’s tons of help out there on the internet. I found this article and thought that it was a huge help. I want you to remember that you ARE good enough. That you’re still learning and that you will get better! Don’t quit! Check it out, if you’d like. https://fstoppers.com/originals/working-photography-anxiety-202880