Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Self Doubt Blues | Ashleigh Olson Photography

Social media is an amazing tool for photography. We use it to mingle with other photographers, share our thoughts, and post client sneak peeks. But there are times it can even work against us.

Ahh, the self doubt monster has reared it's ugly head again.

I have this AWFUL, HORRIBLE habit where I define myself by facebook likes. I know, I know.. it's not something I should base my worth on, but I do. I'm trying so hard to work on this. There are days when I'm proud, standing high on a mountain top, and there are days when I feel the lowest of the low.

I'm writing this in hopes that I'm not alone. That there are others out there that struggle with this too. I'm hoping by writing this, I can make others feel better and even myself.

Here's how I squash self doubt

I like to dig into the archives. I bring up some photos I took a year ago, or even two and compare them to what I'm producing now. That's all I can do, and that's all I should do. I should be comparing myself to who I was yesterday, not to someone who has a completely different shooting style as myself. How is that fair to either of us? My journey is different than the next person. My ups are different and so are my downs. Seeing how my photos have changed and what I've learned along the way makes me realize that I am getting there, even if it's baby steps.

So stop comparing.  It will not do you any good, or get you anywhere. It will only disable your creativity, and hinder your talent. Put that energy back into something useful. Create a project just for you. I love coming up with fun sessions and model calls to get my juices flowing, and to bring me out of my funk. The resulting images are proof to me, and give me the motivation I need.

Let others be your inspiration. I follow a lot of photographers, and they are all SO inspiring to me. I use that to fuel me so I can make the magic I know I can produce. 

Don't let your fears define you. I can't tell you how many opportunities I've missed out on because I was afraid. I've accomplished so much already in 2015 because someone gave me the kick in the pants  I needed. I never in a million years thought I would be PUBLISHED in a magazine, or teaming up with some amazing campaigns. It's a dream come true, and I'm proud of myself. I can't define myself by a number on facebook. 

I am so much more than that!

So know this. When you are putting yourself out there, working your butt off and showcasing what your talent, you are inspiring others. Don't let a number, or a fear determine who you are!

Until next time,


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