I recently had the pleasure of photographing Sophia. She´s expecting her first child; a little girl named Viola.
There´s something very special about documenting a woman’s body during pregnancy. It´s such a precious time in life. Few things are more powerful than the love of a mother, she is ready to protect and love her child with every fiber in her body.
A mom-to-be is strong and vulnerable at the same time. She´s glowing with vitality and pride, yet also exhausted from all the changes in her body. She´s excited for the baby to come, though also worried about giving birth.
Motherhood produce a life with a full spectrum of emotions. There are wonderful days with pure joy and days where you want to run away in frustration. Feeling it all is like walking around with all of your heart raw and exposed. It is the most extreme measure of being alive – it is LOVE.
Do you ever lose confidence in your own creative abilities?
Do you sometimes feel like giving up on your dream to become a professional, successful photographer?
Maybe you already run a thriving photography business yet keep fighting your insecurities thinking you are not good enough, skilled enough, creative enough, talented enough, brave enough….
Being a great photographer is not all about taking stunning photos. While gorgeous photos are certainly a big part of your success, there’s more involved in becoming a standout photographer.
The truth is that the fastest way to great creativity and a healthy business career is paved with pure trust in your own value.
Trust in yourself comes before everything else!
When you as a photographer truly believe in your own value as an unique human being, you will:
learn needed skills faster
take more chances with your art work and career
feel a strong continuos creative flow
attract like-minded people who can help you on your journey or become your perfect clients
Stop bullying yourself
You can rise even higher as a creative person if you are willing to start giving yourself some credit for ALL that you do and ALL that you are. Stop focusing on what you can´t do. Stop focusing on the tools you don´t have or the skills you don´t master yet.
If you really, truly want to spark your creativity and boost your photography you need to shift your focus from everything you THINK you lack or need—to everything you have and can do.
It´s time you start respecting your own personal journey and start trusting that you have what it takes inside you to go way beyond your wildest dreams. You’ll find that once you do, your life will change in remarkable ways.
To change things around and build a great solid confidence platform in yourself, you need to challenge your mind-set to think differently and much more positively.
Confidence doesn´t always come easy
I admit confidence doesn´t always come easy -especially not if you spend most of your day hitting yourself in the head with critique.
Building confidence and shifting your focus takes willingness and determination to THINK in new ways that are healthy to you. Ways that supports you and your goals. It takes work. That´s the truth.
Hers´s 5 positive ways for you to start shifting your mindset about your creative life and business. The fastest way to great creativity and a healthy business:
1. Stop comparing yourself to other photographers
Comparing yourself is a big no-no!
Never, ever compare your creative journey with someone else’s. Doing so is a marathon with no finish line. Someone else may start out faster than you. They may seem to progress more quickly than you, but every person has their own pace.
Your journey is your journey—and you may as well enjoy the beauty of it.
When it comes to photography, you will never “arrive”—no one ever does. There is so much to learn in our business, so if you waste time looking over your shoulders and comparing yourself to others, you´ll loose valuable time, time you can invest in growing your art and your business.
Enjoy your journey and celebrate your art♥.
2. Join a network of like-minded, kind and creative people
There’s power and magic in community.
If I hadn’t joined a photography network of like-minded people, I would definitely not be at the level I am today. When I was a beginner in 2009, I joined a photo community—unaware of how much it would affect my work.
I was fortunate and very lucky to meet many wonderful people, many of whom gave me caring feedback and heartwarming comments. Their support helped me grow and develop my photographs—and today, they are still in my heart and in my network.
Facebook has many great photography networks, and you can also join sites like 500px, flickr, Instagram and many others. One thing I noticed when participating in a group: the more active you are, the more beneficial your experience will be because you’ll connect with others and learn from them. Read;
When you join a group, seek out friendly supporters who lift your spirit and help you believe in yourself, and avoid socializing with criticizers. Although positive criticism can improve your photography, sometimes it can be demoralizing.
If you think criticism is affecting you negatively, avoid it until you can handle it. Ignore those who try to bring you down and have no good photographs to show. And you don’t have to remain in a group if it’s not for you; networking should be a positive (and fun) learning experience.
3. Say no to competing with other photographers—you’re on your own journey
Another important step in becoming a better photographer is to stop competing with other photographers in your area. Instead of trying to keep up with your competition, forget about them and do your own thing! In fact, you are much better off if you never look at what other photographers in your area are doing.
Listen to your heart, and only your heart!
Ask yourself how can you create a better business for your clients. What can you change or improve to make them feel important and welcome? Your heart is the foundation of your wisdom; love is intelligent; and knows the truth of things. Use that power to shine as a photographer and eliminate any concerns about the competition.
If you need a dose of inspiration, look at entrepreneurs/shops/businesses outside of your field.
Which shops/businesses do you absolutely adore? Which shops/businesses inspire you so much they make your heart pump faster? What do you admire about them?
When you look around for inspiration, you can improve your own business and set yourself apart from other photographers in your local area. You’ll be amazed at the results!
4. Take a break from the camera—and do something else
I know how much you love photography. You may even feel that you can’t live without it. I know how easy it is to fall into overworking at something you love. But I want to tell you that taking a break is beneficial to your work, your business, you life.
Passion is a strength—it´s your fuel and your drive. But overworking can hurt you. Sometimes the signs are obvious: you’re not fully engaged in your work; you’re not feeling enthusiastic; it’s causing you stress; and so on. Working at something you’re so passionate about can put you at risk for burnout, so it’s important to take periodic breaks.
Make it a priority to take time away from work, to rest, walk, lay on the beach, read a book, exercise, meet with friends…whatever inspires you and makes you feel good. After some time away you’ll return to your photography feeling rejuvenated—and ready to create!
5. Stop selling yourself short
Are you keeping your prices lower than the competition?
It might sound like a good idea; it’s how supermarkets get the ball rolling. And it’s tempting because of the economic crisis. But trust me when I tell you: it doesn’t work in the photography field.
Your pricing structure is one of the core fundamentals in business that leads to success. The cheaper you sell yourself, the harder you have to work! What will happen when you set a low fee? You’ll get lots of price-shopping clients to book you, you’ll work your butt of and possibly burn out—not so fun, right?
There’s a better option: You can charge a fee that will a.) make sure you don’t work under pressure and b.) support the amount of time you spend on a client.
This way you’ll feel happy when you work—and plus you’ll have more time with your family.
The higher your price, the more time you’ll have to spoil your clients, do your finest post-processing and brand your business.
And let’s be honest here: Price-shopping clients do not often value all the work and effort you put into it. True, isn’t it?
If you do want to keep your prices in the lower range, consider doing mini-sessions. Not everyone wants to have a full photo session if they’re just looking for a nice photo for their Facebook page, their web site or for an invitation.
Offering mini sessions can be a great way to make extra sales. Not only do they take less time, but you also have the opportunity to make the client fall in love with you and your work. They might end up spending more money than planned, because they just have to have the images—and they’ll talk about you to all their friends.
Thank you, as always, for tuning in.
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Ever since my fabulous trip to Venice, I´ve gotten a lot of emails from readers asking about the hotel I stayed at, so I decided to write a little about my experience.
Hotel Ai Reali is a small, four-star, wellness hotel in the absolute center of Venice. The Hotel is located just around the corner from the famous Rialto Bridge, the food market, and the shopping streets.
From the airport, I got a taxi boat to take me directly to the hotel. The trip is expensive (about 120 Euros) and takes about 20 minutes.
There´s also a bus-boat you can take, which is much cheaper but also a lot slower. I arrived late afternoon and wanted to reach Venice before it got dark. Also did not want to try and find the hotel myself in the labyrinth streets of Venice. I was happy paying extra for the private boat service.
There´s something magical about arriving by boat. The scenery and architecture you pass on your way is a beautiful reminder of the history of Venice. It leaves you feeling both excited and overwhelmed at the same time. Venice is simply amazing!
The hotel staff took good care of me when I arrived. The room I got was fantastic. It was super cosy, romantic and stylish. The bed was just as comfy as it was beautiful.
From the windows, I looked directly down at the canal. OMG, what a view! The green-blue water, the gondolas, the service boats, the pastels colors of the buildings – I was taking it all in.
One thing I really love about Venice is how quiet it is, there´s no traffic, no cars, no bikes…it´s just quiet. The perfect location for slowing down, boost creativity and restore energy.
Hotel Ai Reali also has a nice restaurant ( I recommend their seafood dishes) and a small Spa. I tried the Delete Stress Massage treatment, and it was excellent – perfect self-care after walking around the city all day with a camera over the shoulder.
It´s a good idea not to leave the hotel without a street map. Even with the map, you must prepare to get lost. The good news is that Venice is properly one of the prettiest places on earth to get lost.
Before I went to Venice, I read somewhere, that most Venetians suffered from tourist-rage. If this is true can we really blame them? Venice is a city utterly over-run by tourists – it is especially crazy during Summer.
I must say that I only had good experiences with the people of Venice. Everywhere I went, people were SUPER friendly, helpful, and did the best they could to make sure I had a good time. The people of Venice captured my heart just as much as the city it-selves. To make sure you have the best stay possible visit out of season.
Hotel Ai Reali was the perfect home away from home and I can´t wait to go back again!
Have you ever tried loosing your passion for photography?
Have you ever tried feeling uninspired and in a creative rut?
And do you sometimes feel blah about your work?
From time to time photographers turn to me for help when they find themselves in this situation. I personally know how it feels and if you do too – read on…
I want to tell you: being in a creative rut is a dangerous state of mind for a photographer—it often results in a big wave of negative, self-critical thoughts, and feelings of anger, frustration and resentment.
I want you to reframe these feelings. When they pop up, take them as a red flag that perhaps you’re on the wrong track.
The truth is: these negative feelings are a sign that you haven’t been taking care of yourself—which means it’s time for a change.
When you feel like this, it’s often because you feel stressed or burnt out.
Perhaps you are:
• making too many compromises in relation to your work
• saying yes too many times to too many people
• working your butt off but don’t feel valued
• feeling under appreciated
Creative passion ebbs and flows, and sometimes it can feel like it disappeared and won’t return. The dangerous part comes from giving up when you do lose passion —calling it quits and accepting the fact that you just don’t have it in you is dangerous territory.
You need to know that even the BEST photographers in the world, have at one point in their lives, felt this way. ALL creative people have. If they haven’t yet, then they will at some point during their creative careers. It’s 100% normal!
“Creativity is not a talent, it´s a way of operating!” – John Cleese
It’s time to admit that something isn’t working anymore. It’s time to take action!
Here are 3 ways to get you out of a creative rut and back behind the lens more inspired than ever
1. Know your priorities and focus on your goals
Knowing your priorities and values helps you put the brakes on your creative rut.
Ask yourself this
Is what I’m working on a part of my larger goal? (aka your dream)
Avoid doing any creative work that doesn’t help you move towards your larger life goals. And say no to everything that doesn’t make you excited.
If photographing aunt Sally or the children next door isn’t a part of your future dream then learn to say no. Respectfully say no and refer them to someone else. Your time is worth investing in YOUR dream—not someone else’s!
2. Don´t be afraid of change
Look at the way you work: your workflow, your client contact, your photography style, your pricing structure and so on. Point out everything that makes your stomach hurt with resentment. Listen to your gut feelings, and make those difficult decisions that you believe are the right way to go.
Change is a positive thing and it’s your life—do what you have to do to make it amazing!
Is this the type of creative work I want to be known for?
Is this the type of work that makes me happy and excited?
If not, start making small changes right now to get your focus back on track.
If you’re afraid of change, consider:
What’s the worst that can happen if I make this change and it turns out to be wrong?
How will I benefit from this change if it turns out great?
Often, the potential positive outcome will outweigh the negative. And often the change will turn out to be exactly what you needed!
3. Take a break
This is crucial.
Taking a break is neurologically proven to help spark creativity. Take a holiday. Travel. Get away from your photography or creative projects for a few days or weeks.
A holiday doesn’t have to be an expensive vacation. For example I often just drive a few hours away, check in to a hotel/Inn/Cottage and stay one or two nights alone (or with a friend) without my husband or kids. It’s my time, just for me to restore.
Do activities that you know will boost your energy and your mood. Remember that losing your creative passion often comes from stress, so knowing that, choose to take it slow and restore yourself.
If you can’t take a long break, take as many small breaks you can during your day, or work less hours than you usual do. Perhaps you need to turn down some projects or clients to create more time for yourself.
“Without rest, a creative mind can’t function at its best!” – Christina Greve
Most important is to be gentle with yourself, and be delighted that you always have a choice. You can do much more than you think you can and you have all the power inside of you to create the most amazing life for yourself.
If money issues is stopping you from taking time of: Raise your prices TODAY!
If money issues is causing you to take on jobs that you don´t really want: Raise your prices TODAY!
Remember: When you take care of yourself, your creativity will blossom!