This is my friend Eileen. We shot these to meet her need for new headshots and my need to play with my 5D Mk2 back in December. When it comes to undeniable awesomeness and perseverance, this chick’s got it in spades.
Monday’s post got me to thinking about the whole “becoming a professional photographer” thing and the strange way in which this stuff is really all so elementary and simple, and yet at the same time so hard and complicated-feeling. I’m 45,000 words into a book on the subject so my mind is filled with this paradox. But at the heart of it one of the questions people seem to be asking, is “Am I good enough?” It’s a good question, even an important one, and one I think we all need to have a long hard look at before we make the transition. But it’s not the most important one. Because talent alone doesn’t make it. The question is “Do I love it enough?” or, to re-phrase it: “How badly do you want it?”
A while back Chase Jarvis said something like this – there are two things you need to succeed: to be undeniably awesome at what you do, and to persevere. He’s bang on about that.
But for those of you dogged by the constant doubts about whether you are good enough, let me remind you of something – we’re all getting better, day by day if you work on your craft you are getting better, closer to being “good enough” which is a standard most artists always feel they fall just short of. Why? Because as our vision slightly outpaces our ability to express it, we’re always following the carrot, always feeling that our best shot is our next one, not our last one. Furthermore, and this is going to sound so cynical, the industry is full of mediocre talents who are making a solid career out of this. Why? Perseverance. I don’t say that to encourage the mediocrity, but to encourage you that if they can do it, so can you and I. And if you add “undeniable awesomeness” at whatever level you define that, to perseverance, then you can make it.
You may never be able to answer the question “Am I good enough?” to your own satisfaction, but one client at a time you’ll begin to hear the answer. Keep at it. Don’t let fear hold you back.
Whatever the next step for you is, take it boldly. These are not times for the timid; there’s no reward in tiptoeing through life only to make it safely to death.