Im Elena

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How to improve your confidence as a photographer

Friend, I had a feeling you were feeling like you were lacking confidence so I wanted to touch base with you. I get so many emails and messages asking how to gain confidence and I want to help. 

First, I know it seems like those of us who have been in the game longer are confident as hell and that we were born that way. 

But that is not at all true. 

I remember when I was first starting out as a photographer with a newborn in my lap, a toddler at my heels, and a cropped censor camera I felt like I wasn’t worthy of calling myself a photographer. I felt like the industry was full of so much talent that there was no way there was room for me. 

I struggled to find my way and quite honestly I nearly called it quits many times. I mean who did I think I was? I already had a great career as a registered nurse, I had two babies, a mountain of debt so new gear was never an option, and I wasn’t good.


It’s the truth. I see some of my earlier stuff that I was including in my portfolio and I giggle. But I also feel proud. Because you know what I was doing? I was faking it until I made it. 

Yup. You heard me right. I was faking it. Every day I would say to myself “who cares if they think you aren’t good enough. Who cares if you aren’t as good as so and so. You are learning and eventually you will make it.” Self talk is powerful, friend. Because you can’t ever expect anyone to trust you to take their photos much less pay you to do it if you don’t trust yourself. People sense inauthenticity. 

I want to share with you a few things you can do to improve your confidence right now. 

1. Take a social media time out. When I was starting to feel like I had no idea what my style was and was feeling really down about my work because I thought I wasn’t good enough, I took a three month break from social media. My work skyrocketed during that period as it forced me to only focus on ME. 

2. Call yourself an artist, not a photographer. Shift your mind, my friend. You are an artist and you will feel more confident calling yourself a photographer once you really grasp the fact that you are an artist. This is an art form just like painting or writing. It is visual expression. 

3. Trust the journey. If you are new you aren’t supposed to be good. We all start from nothing and we have to work our way up. There is no reason to rush your come up. In fact, I don’t recommend it. I know friends who rose fast and unfortunately most of them suffered major burn out. Slow and steady wins the race. 

4. Tackle one goal at a time. If you are trying to learn how to use your camera, how to edit, how to capture connection, light, and everything else all at once you will get overwhelmed and of course you will lack confidence. I tackled photography in this order: shooting/using camera > light > connection > style > editing
Editing remains the least important part of my process. It may be something you enjoy, which is great. 

5. Take care in who you are finding support and inspiration from. There is not room for drama or negativity in your life. Anyone who brings you down is only doing so to lift themselves up. So ditch them! Make sure to only surround yourself with friends who support your dreams and mentors and teachers who advise you to be you and not them. 

Friend, I have a sincere desire to rise up leaders in this community. I believe in you. Find confidence from within to keep on pushing on!! 


P.S. Setting goals and tackling them is a great way to boost your confidence. Grab your free goal setting guide!

Read the Comments +

  1. Your article helped me a lot, is there any more related content? Thanks!

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