Starsphinx

Imposters syndrome (again)

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I doubt (or at least sincerely hope) that I am the only person here who suffers Imposters syndrome (the conviction that you are not good enough, are undeserving, and that any promotion or acceptance you get are mistakes likely to be found and corrected any day)

Now how much is due to the commission change notice I do not know - but I am having a bad attack right now - and I have had to learn that when I am fighting self-doubt hard it is essential to reach out (something I still find ridiculously hard to do)

So if anyone else out there gets filled with self-doubt over their images I would appreciate a share just to confirm I am not the only one - and that I am not the worlds worst photographer.

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Just had a look through your photos and you are certainly NOT the worlds worst photographer.

 

Just look at some of mine. I am the worlds worst photographer.

 

Allan

 

 

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I'm not sure what you mean by a "share", but I know from the prices I get for my images that I'm doing something wrong. I'm not creative and can't produce those beautiful images that some people can churn out with monotonous regularity. Self-doubt is my middle name. I do try hard though, well I did up until the commission announcement. I may lack creative instinct but I'm not stupid, I know when I'm being taken for a ride. If I knew which direction to take I'd be off outta here. 

 

Joining the world's worst photographer club. :mellow:

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I think most people suffer from a little self doubt, especially if having a bad run. Judge yourself by your peers. How are you doing against the reports in 'how was your' .....oct, nov etc. I don't think you can get any judgement with less than a 1000 images.

 

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16 minutes ago, BobD said:

I think most people suffer from a little self doubt

 

- those who don't are insufferable

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1 hour ago, Sultanpepa said:

I'm not sure what you mean by a "share", but I know from the prices I get for my images that I'm doing something wrong. I'm not creative and can't produce those beautiful images that some people can churn out with monotonous regularity. Self-doubt is my middle name. I do try hard though, well I did up until the commission announcement. I may lack creative instinct but I'm not stupid, I know when I'm being taken for a ride. If I knew which direction to take I'd be off outta here. 

 

Joining the world's worst photographer club. :mellow:

By a share I just mean what you said - the self-doubts and inaccurate judging of our work. 

14 minutes ago, BobD said:

I think most people suffer from a little self doubt, especially if having a bad run. Judge yourself by your peers. How are you doing against the reports in 'how was your' .....oct, nov etc. I don't think you can get any judgement with less than a 1000 images.

 

 Here I do not have enough images yet to make a call success wise - on my own site I am selling (and fighting the tendency to wonder why) - and with other agencies at the moment I am using QC as a measure and my stuff is going through.

Its just I get points where I become convinced that every image I have ever got through QC was an accidental oversight and that any day I am going to get an email telling me all my photos have been removed to correct the oversight.  I start thinking people are only buying my photos because they feel sorry for me.    When I hit these points I have learned to reach out - and just double check that the rest of the world is also still suffering self-doubts.  Its a case of what I know and what I feel are different - like children and monsters under beds.  The irony being that it can be more outward signs of success that really set the doubts off.  Due to the commission thing I have put (for me) large numbers of images up to another agency all at once and its raised my anxiety. 

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5 minutes ago, Niels Quist said:

 

- those who don't are insufferable

Thank you - I try not to be insufferable.

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I'm too old to be bothered with self-doubt. I just do the best I can, and constantly try to improve, and if it's not good enough for others then so be it. I like some of the things I produce creatively (but not very many of my photographs) but if they don't appeal to other people I just tell myself that they probably also voted for Brexit.

 

Alan

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There have been times when my photos at Alamy have been so good that they sold like hot cakes (well, only-recently-out-of-the-oven-and-still-slightly-warm cakes) At other times, the last five months being a prime example, they have been so rubbish that nobody has any interest in publishing them, even at today's deflated prices.

 

Nothing has changed about my portfolio or my skill as a photographer; the change is fortune is down to the tweaking of Alamy's search engine, which is beyond my ken and beyond my control.

 

If you are plagued by self-doubt, by all means take a good, hard honest self-critical look at your work, compared with other contributors. Then peruse this forum and learn all you can.  Then, finally, console yourself with the strong possibility that a lack of success may not be entirely your own fault.  At least, that is what I keep telling myself in the arid months without sales.

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1 hour ago, Inchiquin said:

I'm too old to be bothered with self-doubt. I just do the best I can, and constantly try to improve, and if it's not good enough for others then so be it. I like some of the things I produce creatively (but not very many of my photographs) but if they don't appeal to other people I just tell myself that they probably also voted for Brexit.

 

Alan

Hey some nice people voted for Brexit.

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2 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

Hey some nice people voted for Brexit.

 

 

But not people who think the same way as me, ergo they probably won't like my art.

 

Alan

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1 minute ago, Inchiquin said:

 

But not people who think the same way as me, ergo they probably won't like my art.

 

Alan

In my experience people who voted for Brexit don't agree on anything except Brexit lol - more will like your art than you imagine

 

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I endeavour to be the best 'genuine fake' that I can be.

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20 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

I doubt (or at least sincerely hope) that I am the only person here who suffers Imposters syndrome (the conviction that you are not good enough, are undeserving, and that any promotion or acceptance you get are mistakes likely to be found and corrected any day)

Now how much is due to the commission change notice I do not know - but I am having a bad attack right now - and I have had to learn that when I am fighting self-doubt hard it is essential to reach out (something I still find ridiculously hard to do)

So if anyone else out there gets filled with self-doubt over their images I would appreciate a share just to confirm I am not the only one - and that I am not the worlds worst photographer.

 

 

I think it is a nice quality/insecurity to have and takes gut to genuinely admit to, much nicer than those that are being the complete opposite and thinking they're the best thing since sliced bread. Could also work as a motivation to push oneself further, sometimes even surprising oneself what one is capable of and when receiving praise, appreciation, positive recognition or a simple compliment - all things that should be more commonplace then at current.

 

Anyway, who's to judge what is good or bad - I've got no time for people thinking they are better than others. Unfortunately I think photographers as a group are over-represented with people with skewed self-perception, over-inflated egos that needs constant rubbing, looking down at others for whatever reasons "length in the game", size of portfolio, portfolio subject matters, amateur vs professional, RM traditionalist vs microstockers - all very evident during the last few days upheaval, here and elsewhere. 

 

One would think that a bit of comradery and respect for each other would come naturally over our shared passion that is photography, but nope one upmanship and pushing down on others to make oneself a feel bit better is very prevalent - sad and shameful, we stand with so much to gain if standing shoulder to shoulder instead of the constant "internal" squabbling - thank god for my own thick skin and being secure within myself, however, I'm a total sucker for those that don't - tangent on-line bullying , definitely childish and unsavoury behaviour unbefitting for "adults" and absolutely not ok in what de facto is part of our workplace.

 

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder - still true. Manners and respect cost nothing - fact. If you have nothing nice to say and haven't explicitly been asked to criticise - keep your mouth shut.

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Blimey... self-doubt plus falling prices plus change of commission = bad news.

 

1 hour ago, Martin Carlsson said:

Anyway, who's to judge what is good or bad - I've got no time for people thinking they are better than others. Unfortunately I think photographers as a group are over-represented with people with skewed self-perception, over-inflated egos that needs constant rubbing, looking down at others for whatever reasons "length in the game", size of portfolio, portfolio subject matters, amateur vs professional, RM traditionalist vs microstockers - all very evident during the last few days upheaval, here and elsewhere. 

 

Who's to judge what's good or bad? Well, picture editors, for a start!

 

And some people are better than others - at photography, cooking, driving, love-making, etc.

 

As for portfolio size... Some are bigger than others (though not necessarily better).

 

Even without any self-doubt, the selling of run-of-the-mill stock photography is starting to look like a self-defeating enterprise.

 

We're joining the blacksmith, ostlers and coal-miners in a footnote in a history book...

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32 minutes ago, John Morrison said:

Blimey... self-doubt plus falling prices plus change of commission = bad news.

 

 

Who's to judge what's good or bad? Well, picture editors, for a start!

 

And some people are better than others - at photography, cooking, driving, love-making, etc.

 

As for portfolio size... Some are bigger than others (though not necessarily better).

 

Even without any self-doubt, the selling of run-of-the-mill stock photography is starting to look like a self-defeating enterprise.

 

We're joining the blacksmith, ostlers and coal-miners in a footnote in a history book...

The self-doubt is a constant for me - I only shout for help when I develop serious delusions that the only reason anyone buys my photos is they feel sorry for me, the more normal run of the mill self-doubt I can deal with.  Most days I can do the "look at the evidence" thing and focus on praise and positive criticism - but occasionally I get so that I believe the positive stuff is all lies.

The good bit is having had problems as long as I can remember - and thinking it was just me  - last year I found it that is a common thing, it is a real thing and there are ways to manage it.  I post not only because reaching out is necessary for me but because there are going to be other people out there fighting the same thing - and thinking like I did they are the only one with the weird feelings.  The relief that knowing other people have a voice telling them they are rubbish as well is tremendous - and it frees you to take risks and make steps forward. 
 

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51 minutes ago, John Morrison said:

Blimey... self-doubt plus falling prices plus change of commission = bad news.

 

 

Who's to judge what's good or bad? Well, picture editors, for a start!

 

And some people are better than others - at photography, cooking, driving, love-making, etc.

 

As for portfolio size... Some are bigger than others (though not necessarily better).

 

Even without any self-doubt, the selling of run-of-the-mill stock photography is starting to look like a self-defeating enterprise.

 

We're joining the blacksmith, ostlers and coal-miners in a footnote in a history book...

 

All true and love the deliberate choice to misunderstand.

 

Best/

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1 hour ago, John Morrison said:

Blimey... self-doubt plus falling prices plus change of commission = bad news.

 

 

Who's to judge what's good or bad? Well, picture editors, for a start!

 

And some people are better than others - at photography, cooking, driving, love-making, etc.

 

As for portfolio size... Some are bigger than others (though not necessarily better).

 

Even without any self-doubt, the selling of run-of-the-mill stock photography is starting to look like a self-defeating enterprise.

 

We're joining the blacksmith, ostlers and coal-miners in a footnote in a history book...

 

And Sagger-makers bottom-knockers. Yes, that was a real job, in the pottery industry I believe.

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Photographers are a curious lot...

 

We have egos big enough to ask to be paid for our view of the world. Yet at the same time egos so fragile they can be toppled by a slight breeze. We measure approval by the the money we make, likes on social media or just a kind comment. But if we just chase those external justifications how do we developed our inner vision?  This what I struggle with.

 

I for one can swing from feeling competent to a hack who pushes a shutter button...

 

Alamy devaluing our work does not help.... my ego

Edited by dlmphotog
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11 hours ago, dlmphotog said:

Photographers are a curious lot...

 

We have egos big enough to ask to be paid for our view of the world. Yet at the same time egos so fragile they can be toppled by a slight breeze. We measure approval by the the money we make, likes on social media or just a kind comment. But if we just chase those external justifications how do we developed our inner vision?  This what I struggle with.

 

I for one can swing from feeling competent to a hack who pushes a shutter button...

 

Alamy devaluing our work does not help.... my ego

Oh, I get that swing - from the certain knowledge you have just caught the exact image you saw in your head to the what was I thinking as you look at some weird composition with the point of focus on someone's earlobe.
I see, I reach - sometimes I know I have got what I want (whether it is what anyone else wants is another matter) most times I fail. 
As a hobby it works - as a serious income, I often think I am mad.  So I look at the results - what I aimed for when - and so far I am way in front.  And still, find it hugely surprising every time a photo sells.

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Imposter syndrome is common to more than just photographers.  I've certainly suffered my own share, though fortunately not to point of being debilitating. But it's not all bad.  Without a measure of self doubt how would we be driven to improve our skills or seek out better solutions for problems?  Anyway, better imposters syndrome than Dunning Kruger, where people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is.

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46 minutes ago, John Richmond said:

 

Anyway, better imposters syndrome than Dunning Kruger, where people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is.

 

 

Or the related syndrome whose name I forget which makes people in the media believe them.

 

Alan

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“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is given to the less talented as a consolation prize.” Robert Hughes, art critic.

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However,  the old  adage "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you" has a parallel here. This could be stated as "Just because you have Imposter's Syndrome doesn't mean you are not an imposter"  :).

 

A moderate degree of self doubt is healthy as it may help one to improve but never show that to your clients (if you are working with clients). Of course arrogance and unfounded self confidence are most undesirable traits.

 

You can't beat a bit of innate talent, hard work and recogniton of the need to continue learning, including learning from mistakes.

 

 

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Oh trust me I never tell the people who buy my pictures I cannot understand why they buy them lol.  I also make a conscious effort to keep my excuses in my head and not speak them out loud - although today was an exception because I feel driving rain and floodlights are enough to screw anyone up lol. 

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