The Mamasty Blog: Creating within a Community
Creating within a Community
Losing the fear and joining the conversation.
Throughout my journey into photography I have noticed a common theme within myself: the fear of joining in contradicting with the desire to be part of the group. Let me explain...
The community of photographers and talent within the family photography industry is INSANE. Some the work I see just blows my mind in creativity, talent, self-expression, color tones, post-processing. You name it, there is someone out there doing it better than me. When I first really decided to do this, to put myself out there regardless of the reaction, I began following all of these amazing photographers on Instagram because I thought that is what you do? To join in, you must follow.
I was wrong... what happened instead was self-deprecating personal critique of my own place within my journey in comparison to theirs. I didn't care that photography had been a full-time career for some of these women, or that they had been taking pictures for far longer than I with a loyal following to match.
I became fixated on where I wasn't instead of celebrating where I was.
Not too long after, I found myself putting the brakes on Instagram and the trap it creates. I unfollowed many of the photographers who gave me anxiety, not because of who they are or that they are terrible people, but because I found myself wanting to be them. Wanting to create exactly like them and the gap between their talents and mine was causing me immense self doubt and anxiety.
What I discovered:
It's been just about a year now since I jumped into this world of artists, and it has most certainly had its ups and downs, but there are a few things I have found:
- Everyone starts somewhere. It is not fair for me to compare myself, in my current space, to any other artist. And neither should they to me.
- To find yourself you must put the blinders up. your creativity and mental stability in this competitive market depends on it. Stop looking at others for "inspiration" and look into yourself.
- You are exactly where you are supposed to be today. It took me a long time to realize that I need to go through all this growth, this change, this angst to get out to the other side. Growth is HARD and if you aren't feeling pushed to your limits then you aren't meeting your true potential.
- It will come, in due time, your style. Your voice. You point of view will evolve, and it will start to form. Give it what it needs, time and the sheer will of not giving up on yourself as an artist.
I've come to a point in my journey where I'm ready to jump back into the game. I'm creating work that feels more authentic to myself, yet I still have soooo much to learn and grow from. Probably the #1 artist in this community that I look up to, that I aspire to get to, whose level of clarity I want to achieve is a woman out of Florida name Twyla Jones. She has created a space for herself that rivals no-one but invites everyone. Her work bleeds emotion and it inspires me.
This past week I've joined back into the conversation on her private Facebook group, I've even posted a picture as part of her weekly prompts. I plan on posting more, putting my work out there, meeting people, being inspired and getting involved. BUT, I could not have done this had I not taken a year of solitude, of self-reflections and introspection, and of evolving my creative work to get to this point. I still feel incredibly nervous to post, to share, to have an opinion, to say to the world I WANT THIS, but believe that is just resistance telling me that this is exactly what I should be doing at this point in my journey.
If you are struggling with the community you dove into, regardless what it may be, that doesn't mean quite your dream. Maybe it means you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing at this point in time? Maybe it means to take a step back, go inward, and focus on your why over your how.
And maybe, just maybe, this is the universe saying YES, this is exactly what you are meant to be doing, now work for it.
QUESTION FOR YOU...
Are there any groups/ communities/ levels of success that you are striving for? Has fear or the comparison trap ever held you back?
Please share with me in the comments below!
Hi, I'm Emmy. I'm a motherhood photographer, busy mom of two toddlers (almost three!) and personal honest motherhood blogger. I'm a woman who wants to use the power of connection to spread self-love, creative expression & mindful living.
My purpose is to create emotional connections through the power of photography and to encourage other women to slow down, stay connected, and to create space for honest expressions of the ying/ yang of love and self-doubt.
The Mamasty Blog: Honest Motherhood