Earlier this month, I went legit and officially created my own business, Dirt Road Wife Photography LLC. I have an tax ID number, official looking paperwork from the Secretary of State and a business checking account. Heck, I’ve even got business cards.
Except sometimes I don’t feel legit as a photographer.
I will encounter a new situation and don’t know exactly how to tackle it in the moment. Or I get home, start editing my images and am crestfallen because what felt good in the moment and looked good on my LCD screen isn’t wowing me after the fact.
Sometimes, it’s other photographers who undermine my self-confidence. Long-time pros who make snarky remarks about all the wannabe mom-tographers devaluing the industry and undermine their pricing.
“Is that what I’m doing?” I ask myself. “Pretending to be a photographer? Am I a joke?”
I compare my work to the work of the professionals I admire and it feels woefully inadequate. Tara Bolgiano, Janelle Rose, Cassie Madden…real women, wonderful people and phenomenal photographers who seem to ooze beautiful images and confidence out their pores. And I work and practice and study, but I still can’t quite get there…
Those are the days I think about selling my saddle.
It would be easy to quit. Walk away. I’ve had different offers for work, who’s to know I chose it over my secret goal of being a professional photographer?
I would. I would know that I took the easy way out. That I was afraid to grow, to risk. And I would regret it.
So I’m going to tackle this new goal like the others I’ve set for myself. I’m going to continue to work and study and practice. I’m going to hustle. Maybe I’ll get there, maybe I won’t. But I do know I’ll never ride that horse to the finish line if I sell my saddle now.
*”Don’t Sell Your Saddle” is a poem written by Don Bilup. The above photo is mine, copyright Dirt Road Wife Photography LLC.