self love

It is such a nice change of pace to occasionally switch up the subject of my photos. I spend most of my photographic energy on people, whether candid shots of my own family or more formal portraits of others. So turning my lens toward nature or architecture from time to time keeps me excited about the possibilities of an image.

Sometimes I notice that I lose a little motivation looking at everyone else’s amazing photos. How will I ever take an original photo when it seems like everything has already been done? In the age of Pinterest, Flickr, Facebook, and numerous blogs it is easier than ever to compare ourselves to others. There’s nothing wrong with searching for inspiration and keeping up with a community of like-minded people. But when we feel the wave of self-doubt approaching it’s important to take a step back and remember what makes photography special for each of us.

So today I encourage you to share a photo that makes you proud & happy. Forget about the technical aspects or how it compares to other people’s photos, but do tell us why you love it.


  1. says

    this is an awesome post… in so many ways. you are so right. it can be overwhelming to be a photographer when there seem to be so many and you wonder how you could possible stand out. so what you said about remembering what makes it special for each of us is so good… such a good reminder.

    one of my favorite recent quotes is this… "comparison is the thief of joy." {theodore roosevelt}

    i have found that to be SOOOO true in the world of photography. i purposefully don't look at the work of others too much, because i know it will make me compare and try to become like someone else i admire rather than be myself.

    for me, photography is special in my life right now because it allows me to capture my son and tell his story through my eyes. it was not always about that, because i loved photography long before i knew i would have a son or any children. but right now, that is what makes it so special for me. and believe me, i could get overwhelmed if i let myself… when i see how many great photos and photographers there are out there just in that arena… moms photographing their kids lives. i have had to learn to accept that i am doing the best i can with what i have to work with {knowledge, time, hardware, software} and not compare my work to that of others. if i do, it will definitely steal the joy of photographing my own son. but even that can grow old for me… well, not old, i guess. i'll always enjoy it. but i find myself wanting to capture other things… especially other people. that is why i have become so fulfilled by starting a business of taking people-pictures.

    on that note, here are a few recent photos of mine that make me proud and happy.

    i'm sort of the opposite of your post. i used to only ever take pictures of flowers and such… things outside or in nature… or inanimate things in my home. but rarely of people. it's only recently that i have begun to turn my camera toward other things… toward people. it's something i have been wanting to do for so long. this engagement shoot was my first official shoot since officially starting my business. it made me so happy and proud that it turned out even better than i hoped. but i know there will still be times when i am discouraged and feeling like i don't measure up… there have been already even since that shoot. so i will try to always remember your sage advice… step back and remember what makes it special to me.

  2. Gail says

    I like the way the branches frame this very small village in Bhutan…but mostly I like it because it takes me back to a trip that was a trip of a lifetime. Your post is so meaningful to me, as I am a very average photographer and it is easy for me to get discouraged when I see photos that are so beautifully composed and processed…despite my averageness, I love photography and treasure many of my photos.

  3. says

    Beautiful capture, love the bokeh!

    I agree so much with your statement today. I like to look at other photographer works, most of the time it inspires me, but other time it discourage me, exactly as you mentioned in your article.

    Here a link to blog post of the day, I'm very proud because I took these picture right in my backyard. We don't have to travel many miles to found beauty. 😉

  4. says

    Oh I get this all the time…like others, I have my favorite photography blogs, photographers on flickr and facebook and I constantly compare myself. A LOT of the time I do come up short but every once in awhile I do show up for the SHOW so to speak LOL and I love it! I feel confidant. I feel that my emotion came through the shot. I feel like it is ME.

    and that's a great feeling.


    Here is a shot where I showed up for the SHOW

  5. says

    You can't get much more cliche than a beach sunset shot, but I was happy I was able to capture this big sun just before it went down below the horizon.

    I totally resonate with this post today. I've been in a fallow period with my photography and sometimes wonder really if there is anything special or unique about what I'm doing. Comparing can get discouraging.

  6. says

    what a heartwarming post. I love your image and your thoughtful words of encouragement.
    I have many favourite images and, sure not all are technically excellent, but the one I chose to share:

    I chose this for multiple reasons. Sure, part of it is the selective focus, the delightful natural light, and even the perspective, but most of all it's because it evokes memories and meaning for me. My mother taught me to preserve. She did it out of necessity but also because her mother preserved everything. My mother is gone now and I miss her intensely. This is one of the ways I am still very much connected to her. I feel connected looking at the images but when I'm in the process I feel her and appreciate her. I want to show off my preserves to her, if I could. I remember the jams and pickles she made, how hard she worked, how much she sacrificed. Though there may be some sadness, there is a great deal of lightness too — a joy and a feeling of satisfaction. Thank you for your post today — and for reading this if you made it this far.

  7. says

    I am an edit freak, thus capturing this sunset in manual mode and leaving it unedited was unusual for me, but how can you change such a beautiful scene:

    I also rediscovered this scene I took with film…it was during our wedding weekend and it was so hectic that his site of total calmness was unusual:

    Thanks for a wonderful post to remind us that beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

  8. says

    i need to share the whole set:

    it was within the same month of sharing with a friend that i hadn't used my nikon in quite some time. i had gotten use to the easy go to of my iphone as well as feeling like i didn't have the right 'tools' and had been in a funk of comparison, though not at the time, the actions taken when in had stuck. the non-action.

    after speaking the words to this particular camera yielding friend i grabbed my big girl and brought her with us on this spontaneous whale watching adventure with my father in law. i knew a zoom lens was in the mail from my mom and i was hanging my head that it had not arrived for taking out to sea.

    i was practically walking on air for weeks after this experience. everyday i would look back on the photos in pure amazement and awe. these photographs make me so happy. it was without a doubt a once in a lifetime experience.

    i'm proud of this set because all i had was basic equipment. it was the experience that provided the wow factor. nature itself. all i had to do was be willing to snap and click and hold on sailor! i would have never been able to capture a whale within frame had i put a zoom lens on my camera, the mammals were simply too close. most of these were taken back, my eye saw them closer than what is seen.

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