Building Confidence & Getting Inspired

“This is my fight song, take back my life song, prove I’m alright song... And I don’t care if anybody else believes, cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.” // Rachel Platten

In all corners of the world there are people lacking confidence in the all sorts of different ways. We all struggle with confidence. And anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar (well at least in my opinion). In a world where all put our best selves forward on social media it’s hard to believe that some people are struggling with confidence or struggling at all. But I assure you they are.

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It has recently come to my attention that there are some photographers out there in the world that look up to me. Which when they told me this I was like, “What?! Me?! Surely you’re mistaken. You must have me confused with another photographer.” I say this because I’ve always felt like I don’t have it all together. I’ve always had a dream to teach other photographers, but I didn’t feel like anyone would care or even want to learn from me.

So this is my first post, in what I hope will be many, directed toward sharing what knowledge I do have with the other photographers in the world. Right now, I’m shouting out to those photographers who think I have tons of confidence and I have all my biz together... I’m here to tell you that I struggle with finding my confidence every single day and I definitely DON’T have all of my biz together. I’m here to tell you:

I don’t have it all figured out.
I haven’t booked the amount of weddings I want to book per year.
I still work two days a week at a day job.
I didn’t even go part time at said day job until June 2015. (Yes, last year!)
I have problems with keeping a work/life balance.
My house isn't always clean.
I struggle with remembering to blog my weddings + sessions.
I struggle with self-doubt.
Some days, I struggle getting out of bed... or off the couch... or onto the computer... or turning off Netflix.

Some days, I just plain, ol’ STRUGGLE with life.

So we’re over here sulking on the couch binging on ice cream and Netflix because our confidence is down. Now the question is, what do we do about it? Well, what I try to do is get myself inspired. Remind myself why I do this. Remind myself that there is a reason photography is what I told my mom I wanted to back when I was in third grade. I love this, I’m passionate about it, and darn it, I’m pretty good at it!

“Okay Jackie, I need to get inspired... how do I do that?” Well I can’t quite tell YOU how YOU get inspired. Everyone gets inspired in different ways, what makes your creative wheels turning is up to you. But I can tell you what ways I use to get inspired.

  1. Educate Myself!
    Every time I watch a workshop, attend a workshop, read a photography education book I immediately get my engine revved about photography! I’m all the sudden like, “YES! I wanna go shoot a wedding RIGHT. NOW!” If your anything like me, you can’t afford to do an in person workshop every year/month/week. So what do you do? My favorite is CreativeLive. CreativeLive is a great source for FREE education. Plus I purchase books from other photographers that I like. Currently I’m reading Susan Stripling’s Case Studies books. I also sign up for every single one of those free webinars that get advertised to me on social media by some of my favorite photographers and bloggers. They’re free, fun, and usually only take about an hour!

  2. Entrench Myself In The Wedding/Photography Community
    Get yourself into some wedding/photography Facebook groups. They’re a great community to bounce ideas off of and just listen to what others are saying. I learn about new trends, make new friends, and if I have a question it’s one of the first places I go. Plus I get inspired when I see different things that other people are doing.

  3. Talk To Other Photographers/Make Friends With Other Photographers
    I can’t tell you how important it is to find people who do what you do and spend time with them. My husband is a sweet man and while he’s shot a few weddings with me he just doesn’t QUITE get it. It’s hard when I want to talk about things that get me jazzed, or just the industry in general and he’s just like “That’s nice/cool/sucks honey.” Having friends that I can text when I’m excited about something or even frustrated about something really helps. People I trust and know aren’t going to judge me. They just listen and provide fun feedback. This is something I still struggle with but I am working on. But when I listen to other photographers I know it’s nice to hear their stories. Reminds me why I do this.

  4. Participate In And/Or Design A Styled Shoot
    Sometimes I get some CRAZY (I like to say they're crazy awesome!) ideas for a styled shoot. While these are harder to facilitate if you can do so I HIGHLY recommend it! They’re so fun and a great time for you to experiment and work on your creativity without being on a client’s dime or time! Every time I leave a styled shoot I feel jazzed about photography! I love it!

  5. Listen To Inspiring Music
    When all else fails, I listen to music that inspires me. Sometimes it’s Taylor Swift, sometimes it’s All Time Low. But one of my more current inspiration faves is Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song.” The song reminds me when I’m at my lowest and I don’t feel like I’m working enough, making enough of a difference, or being creative enough I’m not done yet and I still have A LOT of fight left in me.

I hope you all enjoyed this blog post. I hope that even if you’re not a photographer you remember that it’s okay to have downs and it’s okay to be lacking confidence and inspiration. Just do what makes you feel inspired and get yourself back on your horse. I hope you still have a lot of fight left in you. I believe in you.

Keep Rockin’ everyone.

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