Imposter Syndrome with a Camera

Bijgewerkt: mei 15

Imposter Syndrome is a psychological pattern in which one doubts one's accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud".

Baby, hear me when I tell you, Imposter Syndrome is something I think I've battled with my entire life! It's crippling. It causes you to play this comparison game all the time. Imposter Syndrome really reared its head the most when I was studying journalism in undergrad. I was surrounded by so many excellent creatives in college. It became a daily fight for me to feel like I could be good at things I never explored before. For example, as a journalism major you had to take photography classes. I remember being excited, but when we would have critiques meetings I would feel out of my league. I couldn't myself out. Although I had purchased a Cannon camera I just felt like "who am I to be great?"

The question, "who am I to be great," has stuck with me for a while. When I started taking photos as a means of income five years ago I feared people would call me out, slander and criticize my efforts. Five years ago I wouldn't promote myself, I barley charged for my time and efforts, I only had negative self talk for myself. What I failed to realize was all people start somewhere. I had to come to grips with the fact that being well-known or the most liked isn't a metric of success, but development is.

It was until 2019 when I got married to my wonderful husband Marcus that I began to see the answer to my question. "Who am I to be great," ... the answer is and always has been "who am I NOT to be!" For me, removing this shell of imposter syndrome rested on a few things:

1) Prayer in Faith: I pray before every photo shoot. Why? I do it because I know that only God can help me defeat battles like the comparison game. I say prayer in faith because it's one thing to ask God for something, but another when you believe He can grant you what you ask for.

2) Support System: As I mentioned, my husband has helped me see the value in investing in myself. Imposter syndrome distorted my self value. I never saw the need to learn more technique, pay attention in my photography classes, aim to become great, charge what I was worth. It wasn't until I had friends who told me the growth they saw in my work. The family members who without question pay full price every time because they believe I do great. Sometimes, the affirmation is what you need to drown out self-doubt.

3) Persistence: I had to see it for myself. I had to believe that I wasn't a fraud. That I am a great photographer. I had to be able to look at other artists work and be INSPIRED by it rather than COMPARE myself to it. It's a daily journey, but I take it in stride. I look at my work now and can say that I'm growing as a photographer every day. I remember when I used to just give people raw photos. I didn't even know about Lightroom at the time. Now, I take my time and learn and handle each clients photo with care.

It's refreshing to say that I don't deal with Imposter Syndrome as often as I did before. I'm now able to confidently deliver my best work to clients.

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