Going Pro.

Today's a pretty big deal. My brother's getting married in a month. I went to my orientation for the U. I finally found a bridesmaid's dress. But most of all, I've been "pro" for 4 months now.

I love Flickr. It's a beautiful place and a great way for me to get my photos out there without having to pay for a website or domain, but there are certain limitations to it. There is a 200 picture limit, and past that point, the site will delete your oldest photos every time you upload new photos. At that point, they encourage you to purchase a pro account. Blah. I'm not paying for a website. No. No way. Dumb. Stupid. Waste of my money. But truth be told, it was a really good decision and was a lot more valuable to my own growth and development than one might think. 

I'm really self-conscious about my doing this photography thing. I don't like saying I like taking photos, because about every single person I meet says they like doing this. And I don't mean to degrade or diminish these other people's love for it--if you love doing it, who cares what anyone else thinks let alone some nobody who won't even admit that they like taking photos, but I'm still struggling with the concept of me grasping a fraction of individuality while competing among so many other people including myself given how accessible digital cameras, editing softwares are & how easy it is to get your work out there with the internet. Sometimes I feel like I'm at the point where there's no artistic credibility and imagination going into current photography because of how many ideas are constantly circulating and being repeated. I don't claim to be any sort of innovator, but photography seems to be developing into a life skill versus a form of expression.

I think about these things every day, every time I take a picture, every time I decide to let some of my work be posted on the internet, whether it is seen or not. It frustrates myself because I truly am the one getting in the way of my own progress. I do this with everything. It drives me nuts. And it's not the criticism from others, it's the criticism of my future self. I am constantly looking through my old photos and first uploads in my photo stream and I can't think of how much I've grown, I think about how bad that photo is--plain and simple.

But I decided that if I really want to start taking this photography thing seriously, I need to start taking myself seriously. Deciding to become a "pro" user on Flickr is a small step, but it's a huge deal for me.

In the last four months, I have more than doubled the 200 uploads limit. I started with 2,000 photostream views in January, and I'm now sitting at 5,711 views, and my view count since I started my account is now at 22,903. These numbers are still small in comparison to other photographers or websites, but this leap of publicity is proof for myself that this is worth it. That this simple form of expression is challenging myself to become a better creator, and telling me that progression is possible, that creativity is still important, & that self-expression is necessary, for me at least.

And if anything, typing these words and letting someone else read them will somehow solidify my insecurities. Because I said this, I must live it.

photocabine goodness

This post is not me fishing for compliments; this post is freeing myself of inhibition and a self-imposed form of shame. This is me standing up to myself.

Thank you, Sarah Rhodes. 

Photo created with La PhotoCabine, because I couldn't post this post without a crappy webcam photo.


Megan said...

This post rocks. I know exactly what you mean with that third paragraph. That's the hard part about going into art, is that everyone 'makes' art.
Are you majoring in photography?

Equinat said...

I decided to be photo major before I even entered college but I feel so much fear that I'm wasting time. I'm not good enough. I can critique but my eye for composition to create my own work successfully is still so limited. I'm afraid. I believe Anna that you're one of the most talented photographers I've run into and I'm so excited you're coming to the U(there art program is known for sucking though and I've heard Weber is where you want to go to get a proper education in art)

katrina said...

i hear ya and im not even a photographer/artist. must be even more annoying for someone with real talent.

ur lyk d kewluzt perzun i efunn no. keap takun pikchurz.

Ashley said...

Yeah, it seems like everyone with a digital camera thinks they can be a professional photographer. And I know the struggle well, the struggle of appreciating that other people create art, and yet looking down on them for their lack of skill or ignorance or thinking they're amazing when they're so-so. Even though I am only so-so or worse compared to some great artists. But I can imagine it's even harder with photography. But the difference between your photography and the everday Joe Sixpack with a point and shoot is pretty big. I can tell you are farther along that path than most.

Anna said...

This is quite the belated comment, but I just wanted to thank all of you commenters for your feedback! It means quite a bit!