As someone in the art industry, I’ve struggled with feeling adequate. There are incredibly talented people everywhere around me. The even more amazing thing is how inclusive and supportive the art community is! We are there for each other, and though people seem to believe that the photography industry is cutthroat, I’ve had a completely different experience.However, it can be so tiresome to feel uninspired and after hearing clients choosing someone else after you’ve poured your heart into showing them what you offer, the rejection can really hurt. Because we are artists, we express our hearts and souls into our work- having a client turn us down isn’t really about the money. It can really feel like they are rejecting us, our hearts, our passions.. it sucks.
Writing this post has been and up and down battle for me, (should I write it or not?) but I recently shared something on one of our wonderful Facebook networking pages for photographers and found myself hilariously inspired by the words that I supposedly wrote. I started thinking about what I wrote on that page. It began with a post that had been shared expressing disappointment when a client choosing to go another direction, and wondering what to say in response. The number of replies and people who had also experienced this was overwhelming.
In response to the post, I wrote “I try to think of potential clients in the same way that I view potential boyfriends: if they don’t want me enough to pursue me and take me as I am, then I don’t want them.” Now in saying that, it’s hard to remember that even in the context of dating relationships. But I adamantly stand by this, and many ladies (and guy friends) in my life can attest to the fact that I do. If someone doesn’t want you, then you don’t want them.
The reason I share this is because since doing so, I’ve realized that I’m now on the other side of the dark valley of believing that no one would like my work, or that they wouldn’t be willing to hire me. The funny thing about being in that valley was that it was because I didn’t truly believe in my own worth as an artist. So why would anyone else?
You have worth. Your art is unique and beautiful and it’s a tangible piece of your heart that the world gets to see. That’s more incredible than we allow ourselves to acknowledge sometimes. Just remember that when you get a disappointing email or phone call.
We have to take that journey of discovering our own art. Once we do, we will begin to find our own worth and from there– others will catch on as well, and those people are the ones that we want around.