I met up with a friend yesterday who also happens to be a photographer.
She was showing me a folio she had presented to a professional photography body with some hope of feedback as she hadn’t been accepted in.
The comments made to her were:
The babies hands are not showing.
The blankets are messy.
The composition is not perfect.
Posing was the most important part of newborn photography.
She told me how she felt discouraged, how she had worked so hard – heart and soul to produce this folio.. only for it to be completely shut down.
I couldn’t help but feel so disappointed … is this how we nurture our community?
I sat at my desk later with questions racing through my mind..
Is perfection the only thing that matters?
Do perfect poses mean perfect images?
Does is matter where the babies hands are?
Is posing really the most important part of newborn photography?
I looked over some of my own galleries ( where i had not followed any of the above rules) and said out loud – NO.
Now before anyone thinks i’m taking a dig at competitions and organisations .. i’m totally not. Do what ever you want… if it makes you happy.
If you are however entering competitions and joining organisations because you think a little sticker on your website is going to make you a great photographer.. this ones for you.
Stop trying to be perfect.
Open your eyes, you’re missing it all… alll of ittttt.
Moments come in all shapes and sizes.. they can be blurry, the can be squiggly .. they can be anything they want to be.
Be ok with messy, be ok with spontaneous and be ok with making mistakes.
Chase happy tears .. not recognition.. i never forget the people who’ve made me cry tears of joy.
Make art not award entries.
Listen to the story.
Instead of focusing hand placement , focus on the loving looks of 2 people who just made a human. Focus on mammas tired happy eyes and dont worry about the wrap.
Connect, connect, connect – you cant show love if you don’t feel it.
I like a lot of you use to be my worst critic. I use to watch awards and think .. gee, i could never compete – i hardly edit and theres nothing symmetrical about anything i create.
Id question my professionalism. I’d pick apart my work. When i felt incapable..i became incapable.
When i became incapable.. i became angry.. and whilst a lot of us consider anger a bad emotion.. it is there for a reason. Anger ignites us. I turned anger into reflection, reflection gave me clarity.. and clarity gave me the answers and the fire in my belly to stop caring about the industry i was trying to please and to keep creating for the families i was hired by.
When my focus shifted, the noise went away.
When the sound of your negative mind is softened.. your senses are awoken and you’re able to take in whats in front of you. All of it. After all.. observation in our craft is key – agree?
So you there, if you’ve been recently knocked down and feeling like you’re not perfect enough to be a part of some gang.. dont sweat it.
You’re probably already greater, appreciated and recognised than you realise.
Make room in you hearts for the families you meet and close doors on anyone who says you’re not good enough to do so.
Life is far too exciting, too colourful – too EVERYTHING for it to be contained to a set of rules of how we can capture it.
Keep those eyes open and your eyes to the sky, make the happy tears flow and you’ll be alright.
Go get it