Is this normal as a newbie?!

I keep going through these phases, one day I will feel really confident & proud of my work/abilities & the next I feel like I suck & am never going to be good!!  I have been in a funk all week, I don't know what's going on...sigh.  Maybe it's time for another class so I can feel like I am learning/improving again. 


Tell me I am not the only one?!  I think my biggest frustrations currently are color editing and flash use.  My colors seem off a lot and I am struggling to "get it right".  I just ordered a few flash books so I am hoping those will help at least a bit with that aspect. 


Other newbies...what is currently your biggest challenge?

Posted on August 3, 2011 at 8:29 am
plumcrush01
15
07/03/2010
plumcrush01

plumcrush01

  • 15
  • 20
  • 19k
620
Followers
619
Following

(12) Comments

doolittlebride
4
10/03/2010
doolittlebride

doolittlebride

  • 4
  • 12
  • 3.61k
126
Followers
129
Following

doolittlebride

Normal for newbies????  How about for the rest of your career?


I've been shooting professionally for over 20 years and I still have those phases.  It usually happens when I have a less than stellar wedding situation that while beyond my control, still leaves me thinking I should have been better or gotten super star images.


I have days when I am loathe to edit because I wasn't "feeling" it.


I have days when I am loathe to shoot because I haven't put the camera down in over a week - I feel like a Borg with it permanently attached to my eye.


It never stops, the feeling that you are still not good enough.


And the day that it does stop, you need to take a good hard look at yourself and start all over again.  You will always strive to be better and if you don't, then you are finished.

Posted on August 3, 2011 at 9:23 am
jackieg
20
04/17/2009
jackieg

jackieg

  • 20
  • 13
  • 23.8k
337
Followers
341
Following

jackieg

Yep!!! Shari is dead-on!!
Posted on August 3, 2011 at 9:44 am
MountainBride
20
07/12/2009
MountainBride

MountainBride

  • 20
  • 20
  • 22.7k
232
Followers
232
Following

MountainBride

As always, Shari is dead on! :)

BTW - I struggled a lot with color at first too - color and detail, and it's something that *does* get better with time and practice and a SUPER critical eye. . .recognizing that you struggle with it is the first step towards getting better and leanring!  The same goes for flash!  Flash is TOUGH at first.  I was here making a thread just a year ago ripping my hair out because I couldn't figure out fill flash in bright sun to save my life, and now it's one of the things I feel that I excel at. . .I love using fill in bright sun, especially for artistic reasons!  


Remember too Mel, you are really really new to this - and just when you get the hang of something, there will be a new thing you are ready to learn that frustrates you at first.  It's just how it goes.


I definitely still question my abilities and whether I'm 'good' enough, especially when I see the stunning and unique images that other photographers are creating.  It takes gazillions of shutter clicks and even then you are never truly 'there'.  


No stress :)  

Posted on August 3, 2011 at 10:27 am
doolittlebride
4
10/03/2010
doolittlebride

doolittlebride

  • 4
  • 12
  • 3.61k
126
Followers
129
Following

doolittlebride

LOL, I still hate flippin' flash some days!  Last weekend my PW's took a semi-vay-cay right when I needed them during impromptu inside formal photos (random violent thunderstorm came through right when we were supposed to be doing outside formals) and luckily I had an incredible second shooter that helped me out with his own set (I think it was my flash actually, it might have been the one with the bad pc connection).


Then, I have had days when the direct fill-flash ratio outdoors is killin' me.  I know I need some fill but I can't get a good balance. The camera is doing all sorts of stupid things due to ETTL and thinks it's dark out when it's just the background. And I HATE manual flash so it puts me on edge.


These are just the parts of the job I hate though and then there are days I love it. Most of the time. ;o)

Posted on August 3, 2011 at 2:27 pm
Alliesauce
15
08/22/2010
Alliesauce

Alliesauce

  • 15
  • 19
  • 18.6k
573
Followers
572
Following

Alliesauce

Oh yeah, I'm my own worst critic...one of my worst habits?  Comparing myself to amazing photographers who have been doing this for years (5, 10, 20 more than me)! LOL  Then I have to have pep talks with myself to realize I've had my camera a measley 7 freaking months and can't possiby know all there is to know, or even close to it yet!  You are right there with me time-wise, and I think you do an amazing job Mel!!  You know what else made me feel better?  Going back and looking through some of my inspirations REALLY old blog posts... it's nice to see that they didn't just come out of the gate being as amazing as they are now, and I think sometimes we have the impression that they do.  Like they are some sort of super human photographer who came out of the womb holding an SLR, shooting amazing, breathtaking pics.  Reality is, it took them YEARS to get where they are now, and comparing their old blog posts to the stuff I see from you, I think you are off to an AMAZING start!! <3

Posted on August 4, 2011 at 3:57 am
MountainBride
20
07/12/2009
MountainBride

MountainBride

  • 20
  • 20
  • 22.7k
232
Followers
232
Following

MountainBride

it's nice to see that they didn't just come out of the gate being as amazing as they are now


AMEN!  I totally stalk a lot of photographers blogs and one of my favorite things to do is go back to their first posts and see the difference in their work from then vs. now!  It's incredible to see how they evolve, develop their own unique style, learn technique, and grow as photographers.  


 

Posted on August 4, 2011 at 5:07 am
as4968
4
07/24/2010
as4968

as4968

  • 4
  • 13
  • 4.59k
275
Followers
278
Following

as4968

it's nice to see that they didn't just come out of the gate being as amazing as they are now


I just got back from Las Vegas for a workshop and heard speakers like Jerry Ghionis, Bambi Cantrell, Kevin Kubota (among others)... they ALL said something exactly like this! They would tell stories of what happened when they first started. Jerry told a story about how he got a recent wedding he shot and just (internally) freaked out and had no idea what he was going to do. For Tony Corbell's first solo shoot, he talked about how the mother of the senior who he took photos of brought the photos back to the studio and told him he should be arrested for impersonating a photographer!


It was great to hear how all of the pros feel the same things that us newbs do too. And they will all tell you...they had to start from somewhere. But you'll never stop learning :)

Posted on August 4, 2011 at 5:35 am
doolittlebride
4
10/03/2010
doolittlebride

doolittlebride

  • 4
  • 12
  • 3.61k
126
Followers
129
Following

doolittlebride

Ok, so here is a fun thing to do: there is a web site called the "waybackmachine.org" that takes snapshots of web sites from LONG ago.


You may not be able to navigate all of my pages from way back when, but you can see some of my earlier stuff from 10 years ago when I launched my first web site.


Wow...


http://web.archive.org/web/20020206023520/http://www.sharizellers.com/allgalleries.html

Posted on August 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm
futuremrsg2011
5
05/21/2011
futuremrsg2011

futuremrsg2011

  • 5
  • 17
  • 5.31k
327
Followers
328
Following

futuremrsg2011

I can totally relate Mel! I am so hard on myself already and I have had my camera for 2 months lol It's really frustrating!!! I haven't even tried with a flash yet still saving up for it! So I have been doing alot with natural light... I did some family pics for my bff that was in from Louisiana so we were only able to do it on one day which it was 108 degrees out and sunny as heck! I was so disappointed because I didn't get very many shots due to the stupid sun! ugh and now I am trying to teach myself Photoshop CS5 ( I bought an awesome tower of craigslist that's not even a year old and had photoshop already installed) and for some darn reason I think I should be a master at it already and I have no idea what I am doing!!!! Talk about annoying lol :) I think everyone goes threw funks everyonce in a while its just human nature ;)


BTW I think you have done an amazing job so far! I have been stalking your pics on FB and they are fantastic (love love love the baby ones)! I have to agree with Allie you are off to a fantastic start!

Posted on August 5, 2011 at 4:04 am
doolittlebride
4
10/03/2010
doolittlebride

doolittlebride

  • 4
  • 12
  • 3.61k
126
Followers
129
Following

doolittlebride

"...so we were only able to do it on one day which it was 108 degrees out and sunny as heck! I was so disappointed because I didn't get very many shots due to the stupid sun!"


One of the first things you'll learn (or strive to learn) is about the light you have available or don't have available in some cases.  The sun can be your friend or foe. When it's super sunny or you have no choice but to shoot in "high sun", then you need to go scouting for open shade. You need that sun to bounce back into the shade. This can be from a building OR trees.  Then you will have the soft diffused light you want. It can be frustrating if the area you are shooting in has NO shade or open shade (like a few newer churches I have worked at). 


A lot of experience comes with knowing what you can and cannot control and how to work around that. Also, being able to tell your subjects with confidence what you can and cannot do/shoot.  I had to work on that a lot in the beginning of my wedding career. I would let the client dictate where they wanted photos and then they looked awful. I learned it was MUCH better to tell them "No" before I took the photos and gently explain why it wouldn't work. Made me into the professional and the expert.  That can be tough at first but once you get the hang of it, you won't let it go as easily the next time. And they will respect you.


This part - taking control of a shoot to utilize light or locations - can be more important than skill.  Your skills will always be put to the test. But if you always let your light impede your shoot, then you will be disappointed more times than not.


It's not dissimilar from watching your frame and composition for bad backgrounds, objects. You learn that if you move your view a tiny degree, you will get a better background or be able to cover up that 200 lb trashcan you couldn't move.  You begin to think "in camera shots" rather than later slaving away in Photoshop because you didn't notice that weird shape behind their head.


It's all part of the journey.


 

Posted on August 5, 2011 at 4:47 am
*slm*
3
11/02/2010
*slm*

*slm*

  • 3
  • 12
  • 1.3k
226
Followers
228
Following

*slm*

You are not alone! I feel this way a lot and I expect to for a VERY long time! There are SO MANY photographers out there and it is difficult to try to set yourself apart. Confidence is key :)

Posted on August 6, 2011 at 1:15 pm
futuremrsg2011
5
05/21/2011
futuremrsg2011

futuremrsg2011

  • 5
  • 17
  • 5.31k
327
Followers
328
Following

futuremrsg2011

Thanks Doolittle!

Posted on August 8, 2011 at 3:11 am

Have a question? Contact Support
Top Contributors this Week
Canooknic
19 posts
Kuppy13
19 posts
MOBRIDE72
19 posts
NicholeB
18 posts
jasmin77
16 posts
krosa
13 posts