What do I want?
What do I want and why I want it? The WHY part actually matters more to me. We often get confused about what is beneficial for us and what is it that we end up achieving to impress others. I am not proud of it but sometimes I also found my goals vain and when I do I take a different direction. Speaking of photography I want to become one of the best portfolio shooter in my area. So there I said it.
Impressing others is the one of the most common reasons why we all go down the wrong path. If you still have people in your surroundings who have not recognized your struggles and so to speak "yet to be 'impressed' by your achievements"- they are not rooting for your success. I learned this on the hard way that some people prefer you to be unhappy . Sad but true. They will never congratulate you and they will never recognize your accomplishments. So move on. Kill them with kindness but you can really kill them with your success. Let them choke. Your day will come.
How do I make progress
The truth is that there is always going to be someone who can do it better than me. Rather then obsessing over the gap between my work and the photographers' I really admire, I try to focus on how can I grow myself. All the incredible photographers were once beginners. For the very same reason my favorite mentors are the ones who are not afraid to share their struggles, and show their " crappy" pictures from the beginning of their careers. The way I learn the most is by making mistakes, do it over and over again, adjust my angles, move my lights around and constantly engage with my models. Everyone who walks into my studio should feel like a million bucks, I make sure I work my models/portrait clients' self esteem is up even if mine is not all the way up yet.
How I deal with failure
More you fail better you get at it. I have failed so many times, in the past 7 years of my photography career that I learned how to bounce back quicker every time. However I came really close to never picking up my camera again this September. I was mistreated, under appreciated, tired and even bored of my own work. I needed to walk away, to be free from it. Shake it off so to speak. I needed to think and rethink what was going wrong. I came to the conclusion that I was not appreciated simply because I did not value my work, my time, my time away from my family. "If you put a small value on yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price." I also realized that I cannot fight the love between the camera and me. It won't go away. It is under my skin, everywhere I go and everywhere I look. It is hard for me to go anywhere without looking or thinking at lines, angles, textures, faces, feelings, reflecting surfaces, lenses, lights... Every waking hour I think about this!! I decided to come back and of course perhaps get kicked in the teeth again, but hopefully working smarter and better. I am scheduling work for next year as we speak.