Oh oh oh! Look at you! Here again for another ONE WORD post! You might wonder how “gifted” fits in here. But remember these posts are about things I am ashamed of, haven’t figured out or that maybe scare me a little. Gifted fits those categories. Read on… if you dare.
I’m a photographer. I have been taking pictures since forever, with varying equipment, skill and understanding. I’ve always kinda liked my work, but never really took myself ‘seriously’. Just took pictures cause I liked it… I wanted to share with other people how I see things; to celebrate the beauty in what I saw.
As a photographer, I recognize giftedness in others. You don’t have to be a photographer for that, though. You just look at a picture and it ‘speaks’ to you – or it touches you someplace deep in your soul and you think, “Wow. What a great photo!” Right?
Well, here’s the thing I am kinda ashamed of or embarrassed about. I look at my work (often) and think that. (Wow. What a great photo!) The words change of course, substitute “photo’ for “moment”, “lighting”, “composition”, but the idea is the same. I’m proud of my work.
So, why ashamed? Because you aren’t supposed to be proud. What if I just THINK it’s great, but it isn’t REALLY? Now, if I were hearing you say that, I would laugh (in a friendly sort of way) and say, the only person who needs to like it is YOU! But, that isn’t true, no matter how badly I want it to be. We are humans, I believe we are created for community, togetherness, to need and fulfill need where others are concerned. So I do need you to like my work. Not ALL of you. Just enough of you.
I suppose ‘real’ artists create for the sake of artistic creation itself, like they can’t HELP but create stuff. I can go for long periods without taking a picture – I don’t like it, but I can. I create for artistic expression. I certainly don’t need to express me to me! right? I want you to find value in what I do. There’s the rub. I am embarrassed (ashamed a bit, I suppose) that I need you to like my work. Sometimes it’s intense, other times barely noticeable. But I think that strong people don’t need that. I am probably wrong in most instances. But it’s one of the lies I have picked up somewhere along the line – that I am the only one who cares (a lot) what others think of my work. And it makes me less of a (mature, wise, strong…) person.
The good thing about that is, with 6 billion+ people in the world the odds of NO ONE liking my work are pretty slim. Example: My husband can listen to a local band and think they are the best ever. I listen and think, “Why are they letting that person sing lead? They are tone deaf.”
The other thing about liking my own work…thinking I have a gift where photography is concerned is that it feels prideful in one sense (see above) and burdensome in another. If someone gives me a gift that is awesome and to be used to help fill the needs of others, I better take GOOD care of it. I better not suck, or be lazy with it, or throw it in a corner and do nothing with it. Right? I better add skill and intentionality with it. I better treat it with respect. I better not mess it up. (laughing) But I think that.
I don’t know about you. You may not struggle with these thoughts at all. Your self esteem is beautifully in tact. Your sense of self worth is undented. My guess is, though that most people reading this think like this – whether or not you have been able to put it into words.
I don’t want to give the impression that everything comes easy. That everything is second nature to me. That I just boldly charge forward in whatever endeavor I start. Something inside of me compels me to start, to champion, to fight for truth and beauty for me …and for you, if you need it.
Here are the latest photos I thought, “wow.” about: Thank you, Emily for being beautiful and letting me show it through my camera lens.