Dealing With Doubt and Deeper Questions When Pursuing Photography

At one point or another, we all end up questioning our decisions to pursue a creative career over more “traditional” options. If you've never questioned yourself along the way, then congratulations, you're an outlier. It's far too common that we find ourselves creating stress when dealing with self-doubt. Whether you're just beginning to think about a creative career, you're just starting out, or you've been at this for decades, this video might be able to offer some perspective on addressing some of the tough questions that we ask ourselves.

Chris Hau gives us a little of his background story and offers some tips on dealing with and addressing the tough questions that crop up along the way. I don't know about you, but I can say for sure that I really struggle with self-doubt and find myself constantly questioning myself and my direction of life. I found this video to be pretty interesting and it really got me thinking about the types of questions and doubts that we encounter. The questions we ask ourselves evolve and change but are always a part of the journey. 

When I first fell backwards into photography in mid 2015, the types of questions were the technical kind. I had no background or experience with photography so I was having to address the most basic questions like, “How do I do photography?” and “What is aperture, shutter speed, and ISO?” As I grew and continued to learn, the questions shifted from basic technical ones to more business-oriented questions like, “Who is my target market?” and “Do my prices reflect my value?” Fast forward to 2018 and the questions have become very broad, “Am I on the right track?” and “Will this be a lifelong pursuit?”

My takeaway from this video is that everyone has to deal with doubts and on some level or another we are all scared to move forward. While the types of questions and doubts that we have may change, they are always there. If a creative career is something that you're serious about, you need to find ways to push past the fear and take the risks. You need to shoot your butt off, you need to study and learn constantly, and you need to make smart business decisions.

Leave a comment below with some of the things that you struggle with. Have you noticed you ask different questions of yourself now than you did in the past? What's the best way you've found to deal with the tough questions that you encounter?

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5 Comments

At one point, I was able to sell the occasional photo to a travel magazine & even won a few photo contests, but as my photography progressed to pure self-expression, no one is interested anymore. Three 'likes' on social media is a big win for me! I look back at the photos I've sold & won contests with & I cringe at just how mediocre they are.

Mr Hogwallop's picture

Most of the photographers I went to school with 25 years ago are no longer "creatives" and are out of business. Out of 20 -30 people there are 4 of us still shooting. Other people who became engineers or lawyers or doctors are still in business or retired (in their own terms).

It is a tough racket. Now tougher as the assistant apprenticeship system has been replaced by you tube and workshop education where students learn how to shoot something but not how to charge for it and often bid 2/3 of the value/going rate of the job.

My days as a "creative" are numbered but good luck to ya.

Gabrielle Colton's picture

Needed this tonight!! Thanks for sharing, it's an art all on its own to overcome these feelings.

Evan Kane's picture

Too true. . .keep rocking Gabrielle :)

Kine H's picture

Thanks for sharing :) Intresting to see your way ^^