You've probably heard of the idea of imposter syndrome. If you're NOT familiar with what it is, imposter syndrome is essentially believing that you're not as good as others perceive you to be. You might feel like a fraud, or you might feel like you're faking it. Imposter syndrome specifically comes into play on social media, where we're encouraged to measure ourselves by measuring likes and followers.
Social media is an illusion that we buy into. So whether it's art you're creating, or a social media post, or split pea soup that you're cooking, it's all about keeping things in perspective.
If you believe you're the best, then you'll behave a lot differently in the world. You'll probably walk taller. You'll definitely speak with more confidence.
If you believe you're the worst, or that you're not good enough, the behavior that follows will lack confidence. I'm not suggesting you behave like a cocky ass hat because you're convinced that you're the best. Your goal is instead, to have a confident mindset.
You are the best at being you, period. Full stop.
One of the great things about an arts-based industry like photography is that we all do things so differently. I'm not just talking about editing and taking photos, either. I'm talking about how you interact with your clients. I'm talking about how you've run your business, how you write when you send out a newsletter. If I'm feeling a little shaky in my shoes, I like to remind myself that I'm the best at being me. And you are the best at being you. We all have something a little different to bring to the industry.
So, do everything the way YOU do it, do it your way. That's it.
It's also important to remember that your business is more than just the photos you produce. There are so many opportunities to personalize your offer. You know, if you want to do certain things a certain way, then do them that way. If you want to offer only sessions at a certain place for a certain set amount of time, then do that. If you want to Photoshop a unicorn in every single photo you take, you do that! You can build your brand your way.
Let's talk about another way to ditch imposter syndrome. There's a famous wedding photographer named Jonas Peterson who's been a huge influence in my career. In one of his workshops, he give this advice:
“If you're a wedding photographer and you're struggling with inspiration, don't look at wedding photography. Look at other stuff.”
I do this a lot when I'm feeling stuck. If I'm going into my eighth mini session of the day for a family shoot, sometimes I'll just pull something up that feels totally detached, just to get my head out of the industry.
If you're reading this and you are suffering from a bad case of imposter syndrome, I recommend that you try this trick. Sometimes, comparing your own work to others can lead to a loss of originality. If we try to be like everyone else we see online, we all end up copying each other and the beautiful creativity that photography brings is lost.
Finally, your mindset is a massive part of your whole photography operation, and this is the beginning of building it. Your thoughts inspire emotions, and that emotional chemical trigger causes you to act in a certain way, and your actions become your life. Trust me, your thoughts have power.
So here's my advice: find a way to enjoy what you're doing. Just have fun with it and stop looking at everybody else and what they're doing.
One more quick reminder– this is a really exciting month for Photo Business Help! We are opening the doors to the Greenhou$e monthly membership program on July 1st, which is really scary and really fun all at the same time. Learn more here: photobizhelp.com/waitlist.