Why Self Confidence is Important

Have you been wondering how to turn your photography into a blog? Are you your own worst critic? I certainly am.

You see, I love taking pictures; but good luck if you’ll ever see them. I’m the kind of photographer who for a while has been keeping all those photos just sitting on his hard drive.

The truth is, that I’ve been lacking the self-confidence to put myself and my pictures out there for people to see. It’s not that I don’t think they are good. I just worry that other people won’t like them. So stepping out from behind the safety of my camera and computer screen has always been a bit of a challenge.

I’ve been debating this photography website and blog for a while (a couple of years to be exact) and wondered if I would have the nerve to put myself out there. It’s obvious I decided that I would at least start and that I am open to what comes out of it; after all, you are sitting in front of your screen reading this which is already some form of success.

The Tipping Point

Well, my wife recently opened up a coffee shop called Steam Cafe (check it out on @steamcafeaa). It’s a little oasis in the heart of Addis Ababa, where we live, and she asked me to print some of my pictures for her as wall art for the cafe.

Now, I’m not one to put my pictures out there for the public, except maybe for the few travel photographs I put on Instagram or Facebook. But, she’s my wife and I knew that I needed to do this for her. So, I printed and framed 6 pictures, hung them up before opening day, and everyone that has walked into that cafe has commented on how nice they are. How about that for a dose of self-confidence?

Praise and appreciation wasn’t what I was expecting. In fact, since then I’ve also started posting more online to Instagram and that have been a real revelation as well; people actually think my photos are decent.

I’ve also sold a few prints as a result, mostly to my friends who didn’t know I could actually take pictures; they think I’m just a cool guy with a cool looking camera but that I have no idea what I’m doing. You know, the “All the gear but no idea” type.

Three key takeaways

So what is the point of this first post? Well, there are three things that I wanted to convey:

  1. Be brave, you’ve got nothing to lose. It actually doesn’t matter what people think as long you feel that you are giving it your best.
  2. Print some photographs and get them off your hard-drive! It’s amazing what looking at the physical end-product can do you for your own appreciation of all the hard work you put into your photographs.
  3. Keep learning and sharing as it is through this conversation that the best personal growth comes out of.

There’s probably one other takeaway here and that is that my wife is amazing and knew how to motivate me to put my dreams into action. So the last point, if there’s someone that you don’t want to let down, it can really help.

I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there that feel the same way that I did. Are you one of them? Is there someone in your life that has been able to push you to be better and braver?