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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

{ "But I'm Not GOOD Enough!" } -- Mesa, AZ Photographer

{ Just Because You're at Point A & Not at Point Z, Doesn't Mean That You're Not a Photographer }

I hear the same lament of discouragement from SO many photographers:

"I'm not as good as they are."

"I'll NEVER be good enough."

"I'm totally fooling myself. I'm not a photographer."

"I don't want to say I'm a photographer and then have people say that I'm not."

"I don't want to sound like an American Idol wannabe."

A lot of photographers have convinced themselves that they aren't photographers just because they're not at the
place in their journey that they'd like to be or they feel far behind where others are at in their own journeys.

In other areas of life, this would sound silly, if not ludicrous:

Imagine an Olympian in training looking at the current Olympian and thinking, "He or she is { SO } far ahead of me. I should stop training. There's no way I'm going to get there."


The only way you can get from a training athlete to Olympic gold medal is by trying and training and pouring yourself out into making yourself better step by step.

I used to beat myself up so badly on the inside and would get so discouraged that I'd swear off ever shooting again. I'd think, "What's the point? I'll never be as good as him or her. So why try? I quit."

The problem is that I was not allowing myself to see the potential that has been invested into my life and I wasn't giving myself a chance to cultivate that talent and see what I could do with it.

A lightbulb that hasn't been plugged into an outlet remains a dead bulb. The potential is sure there, but without a power source, it remains useless. Wasted energy.

I didn't want to be that unplugged lightbulb. I wanted to plug myself into training myself as a photographer and trying to grow the talents that God has invested into my life. I wanted to dig my heels in and see what my life was made of.

The Bible talks about a master who gave his servants a certain amount of talents each. Each was to be responsible and invest those talents and grow them. Two of the servants invested them and yielded a return and were blessed with so much more. The third, however, buried his talents {$$$} and brought back only the unused amount he was given.

How many dreams are packed away on the shelves of people's hearts, collecting dust because they've been afraid to dream--because they feel like someone else's dream is so much bigger and better than their own? How many talents are we waiting to see and experience in our own lives because someone's packed them away and aren't using them?

When fear gets in the way and stunts growth, it takes away a piece of beauty that we all could have enjoyed and relished in.

Still not convinced?

Think back to kindergarten when you first learned how to tie your shoes. I'll bet you felt pretty clumsy tying them for the first time. You probably had to try several times before you could even get it CLOSE to looking like a decent bow. If you had gotten frustrated, you could have given up....but then you would still be wearing Velcro shoes even now as an adult because you weren't willing to be uncomfortable for awhile to learn and grow in your skill.

You are unique.

You are special.

You have a gift that no one else has.

It's up to { you } to discover, develop and cultivate those things and grow them until they reach their full potential.

How will you know what potential lies in something unless you try and invest into discovering it?

Here's my challenge to you photographers out there:
 { For all you who doubt your talents and who feel like you fall so short of other photographer's skills }

1. Stop comparing yourself to other photographers.
You should never want to be like them.
You have something unique of your own to bring to the table.

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."
-- Judy Garland

2. Be patient with yourself.
The photographers that you admire did not get to where they're at overnight and neither will you. It takes patiently applying yourself and getting better at what you do one step at a time. Commit yourself to growing and guaging your own personal growth.

3. Look at other photographer's blogs.
Find photographers that you like and look at their very first blog post ever. Then look at their most recent. I promise you, you will see an amazing transformation. This was one of the most freeing things for me to do because I realized that each of the people I was admiring had started off in a place that is very similar to where I'm at now. They are where they're at today because they tenaciously applied themselves to growing their craft and skill and didn't stop growing. Look at your own first post and where you are at today and you'll see growth.

"Don't get intimidated. Get inspired." --Jen O'Sullivan

The college president at the college I used to attend encouraged me to follow my dreams. I encourage you to do the same. A lot of times your success will be determined on whether or not you believe that you can { or cannot } succeed. We're more likely to succeed { or fail } based on what we first believed in our own hearts.

Believe that you can do it.

It will take time and a lot of effort, but commit yourself to learning and discovering your untapped potential.

I can't wait to see the gifts you share with the world one day.

And remember......

"Everyone starts somewhere." --Pati Pakulis


  1. Amazing Post. Very inspirational, very well said. Thank you

  2. I'm so happy that you were encouraged, Keri! : )! Thank you for letting me know that this helps you--I love writing encouraging pieces. I want to inspire other people to follow hard after the dreams in their hearts and to use the talents that God has given them. : )

  3. Beautiful post!!! Thanks so much for writing it!

  4. Thank you so much. I can completely identify with you in your younger days. I read and read and I get defeated at times. This was a great blessing after a difficult weekend. Know your thoughts are heard and greatly appreciated!

  5. Thank you Ann! I'm so glad that you enjoyed reading this post!

    You are welcome, Rachel--I'm glad that you could find encouragement in this, especially after you had a hard time this weekend. Sometimes it just takes a little pick-me-up and a reminder that we can do it. : ) I'm so thankful that you visited my blog and was able to take something away from it. Cheering you on! : )!

  6. Great post and very timely! I often feel discouraged because I'm not where I want to be with my photography and now also with my health and fitness. It's easy to look around and see many people that are great at photography or in smokin shape and feel bad about yourself. Also when you work so hard learning about photography, reading, and end up feeling clueless a few weeks later.
    Or you work out diligently and intensely, eat well and find that you barely lose weight or go up! Really! Arrrrgggg. I think in this day and age we all just want instant gratification and it's no different here. I just want to be GREAT at photography and in great shape but like you said, we all have to start somewhere and I guess it is just consistently putting one foot in front of the other and hope that some day, you'll reach your goals. Thanks for the great post!!!! I'm going to check out others blogs so I can see their progress. :)

  7. When you break things down into sections and complete them 1 by 1, then they don't seem so overwhelming. Something that might help is to get a 3 ring binder and divide it up with dividers. In each section, write your biggest life goals down in the first part of each section, dividing each wish and goal up.

    Then, behind that big goal, write how you can accomplish that goal. Start with daily goals you need to get in order to get to the weekly goals. What weekly goals you need to get to the monthly goals. What monthly goals you need to get to the yearly goals. And finally, what yearly goals you need to get to the lifetime goals.

    Find what series of steps you need to take to get to where you want to be--start with the big picture and then work backwards to find out how to get there.

    Hope this helps! : )! Stay encouraged! : )!

  8. Love this post! so many female photographers are so catty, this was very refreshing!! Worth sharing on FB. :)

  9. Thank you so much Lily Pond! :) ! I'm glad that you enjoyed reading it! I'm out to change that old stereotype that so many people have attributed to. So many people have helped me out in my short journey as a photographer and I want to help others. I enjoy my own successes and share in the joy of other's successes as well. I see us all as a big team working together. : )