As a photographer it’s really easy to feel inadequate. Actually as a human it tends to be really easy to feel inadequate. Even with people telling you that your photos are amazing or that you are so very talented, or even with other photographers coming to you to ask for your recommendations on their business and shooting style, you can still feel like you’re not that great.
The comparison game is out there and it. is. rough. Social media is a huge fuel behind comparing ourselves to other. Not just for photographers but just through life. “Why are they always on vacation, but I can’t seem to take two days off?” or “How is their kitchen so clean and tidy and bright??”
Last week, I attended the Kreativ Summit, a conference designed for wedding and portrait photographers. Some huge names in the industry were speaking there. So many people that I look up to and find inspiration from. I walked in with expecting what I’ve seen at other conferences I’ve attended. The speakers speak, we attendees take notes and maybe get a few Q&A sessions to get to talk with them. But then they step back stage and are never seen again.
I was very pleasantly mistaken here. As soon as I walked in Devin Robinson, one of the conference owners greeted me with a hug and told me how pumped he was that I was there. As I met other photographers and some of the speakers, a strong and instant community began.
They’re just like me
Then the speakers began to give their presentations. I could go on about all the amazing things that speakers brought to us. I seriously have 7 pages full of notes and it’s going to take a while to implement EVERYTHING I learned. But one of the biggest things I walked away with was that when I was sitting there listening to Jason Vinson talk about hit editing style and how he sets his camera settings for his abundantly creative mind. While I was taking notes, I noticed that Adam Mason (another speaker) was taking the same notes, and Erika Mann (a keynote speaker) was taking notes. Then Tonie Christine (another keynote) started asking questions.
That moment when I’m sitting with the people who in my mind are on top of the game and know pretty much everything about wedding photography, and we’re all learning together and asking questions and coming out of the conference better than before. That was special. We are all learning and should always be improving our work.
What did I learn?
So even if I didn’t learn anything at this conference, even if I didn’t completely update all the copy on my website thanks to a conversation I had with Adam Mason over cookies and ice cream, or even if I didn’t find new creativity and a new way of looking at light from Jason Vinson and Fer Juaristi, even if I didn’t find inspiration from Tonie Christine and Phil Porto on how to love my clients well. Even if I didn’t walk away with any of that, spoilers..I totally did. But if I didn’t, I would still have left with a feeling of community and adequacy in the industry and in my creativity.
For all you humans out there, whether a photographer, a bride, a brain, an athlete, a basketcase, a princess, or a criminal. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Always be trying to improve how you treat people and how you work in your craft, but also you are enough, you are adequate, and you are inspiration to someone else.