I have to laugh at myself sometimes. Sometimes it just takes me so long to come to a realisation. This one in particular has taken about a month. When you’re a photographer, that’s what photographing a photographer does to you!
I recently wrote a blog post in which I made the statement that the only place where self-improvement can happen is outside of your comfort zone. Personally, I know the discomfort zone quite well. I seem to have a tendency of putting myself right in the middle of it on a fairly regular basis. And sharing this post today is one such oCafinnate Academysion.
Getting into my Discomfort Zone
When I got back from my trip to Paris, I made some bold sweeping statements to myself and those around me that I was going to make some changes – for my business and for myself. For my business, that meant doing more shoots for myself and my portfolio, pushing my creative boundaries and allowing myself to experiment creatively.
One of the many kind folks who took the time to ask me how Paris was and what epiphanies I’d had was my friend and fellow photographer, Natasha Lassen (CocoDash). Not only is Natasha a stellar boudoir photographer, but she’s one of the kindest and sweetest people you could hope to know. After regaling her with my travel stories, I found myself asking her if I could photograph her. Of course, she agreed!
When it came to it, the realisation that I was going to photograph another photographer suddenly dawned on me and the insecurities began to surface. This isn’t the first time I’ve photographed a photographer though, so I’m not sure why I felt that way. I took comfort in the fact that Natasha is such a loving soul that everything would go well.
One of my core business values is collaboration. I love meeting and working with other business women in general and other photographers more specifically. The day for the shoot arrived and I decided to treat it as if it were any other shoot with a non-photographer client of mine.
Here’s some behind the scenes pics of Natasha getting ready with the help of Trish Meyer, the makeup artist.
Of course the day went by without a hitch, with so much laughter and some really great images. Natasha allowed me to experiment with backdrops, poses and props and she also gave me some advice from her own boudoir pose repertoire. By the end of the day I was totally pumped, on a creative high!
It didn’t take me long to edit Natasha’s images, taking gaps in between other ‘paying-client’ work, and eventually I had my collection of images I was ready to share. And then…. crickets…. chirp-chirp. Nothing.
I’ve sat with the images for a number of weeks without sharing them. I made excuses – too busy, website glitches, just one more tweak….when eventually I realised what I was doing. I was stalling. Why was I stalling? The images are lovely, even if I do say so myself. So what was the problem?
Then it occurred to me – it’s because Natasha is a photographer who I admire and she’ll be looking at the images with a trained photographer’s eye, rather than the less trained eye of my usual clients.
I was SCARED of what she might think!
Once I realised that this was the reason, I knew I had one of two choices. I could either keep the images to myself and never let them see the light of day and that way they wouldn’t get critiqued, by Natasha or any other photographers. Or I could share them, take the critique (if any) with a pinch of salt, and feel fulfilled with having created something beautiful in my dis-comfort zone. I decided that the pain of not sharing something I’ve created is more than the pain of any critique I might receive and BONUS POINT – if I do get any critique, I can learn and grow from it.
As you can see – I’ve made my decision, and I’m sure glad I did.
Do you ever feel like this?
I want to know from you – Have you ever stopped yourself from doing or sharing something because you are scared of being vulnerable? Did you overcome that? And if so, how?
And while we’re at it, take a look at some of Natasha’s images and let me know what you think in the comments below.