Silencing Inner Voices

Recently, in an attempt to get a hold on what direction I want to go with in photography  and in trying to launch a successful business, I have been working with a dear friend and creative spirit – Toni, who is the creator and founder and queen of all things Makearoo.

One of the key challenges Toni has issued is that I am to write a bio for my photography website.

And it’s a challenge that has stopped me in my tracks time and time again. I did hit a point where I did a bit of freewriting about it – describing myself, my shooting style, what I loved about photography, though none of it truly made a cohesive bio and I never revisited that copy in order to make edits. Instead, I left it dying on the side of the road gasping for breath.

{I just equated my bio copy with road kill. I think you can see why I may have a problem here.}

In my head, when it comes to photography – or my other various creative pursuits – I’m often hearing this voice, “Who do you think you are?” As I hear so frequently, Anyone with a camera thinks they’re a photographer so… why am I special? Why am I different? Why SHOULD you hire me over that guy or that girl or so and so?

Writing – and clicking publish – on my bio takes it out of this realm of WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE and puts those words squarely into the WELL THIS IS EXACTLY WHO I THINK I AM category.

And I don’t know.

This has been a huge undertaking – and one that has been such a challenge for me that surely there is deeper root than just…laziness. There’s a reason somehow, somewhere that I don’t want to show too much confidence, seem too uppity, act as though I think I’m all that.

The thing is.

I have an eye for capturing moments – having that eye? That can’t be taught in any class or from any book.

I know this to be true. I know that in every shoot, I have that moment where I know to the very core of my being: This is it. I’ve got this. This is THE image that will define this shoot for me.

And so somehow, I have to take that point and wrap my words around it.

I don’t know where my fear is rooted – that I feel I need to slap myself down before someone else does. I wish it’d go away. I wish that I could sell my work and my art with confidence. I know I’ll give you photographs that you’ll be proud of and treasure – what I don’t know is how to put that into words.

Those people who walk through life with that bit of bounce and that certainty that THEY can do exactly what needs to be done? I wish I had some of what they had. That bit of (god, I so hate this word) swagger. I wish I didn’t feel apologetic when I felt proud of my work, as though it was unwarranted. Because… I’ve done a lot of work that I love. I have taken pictures that I swoon over.

This week it is my mission to unapologetically tell that voice in my head asking just “who I think I am” to STFU.

Can I do it?

Well. I have to.

It’s important to me. I would love to spend more time with a camera in my hand. I would love to be able to express to others why I know I would give them great photographs that they’ll treasure (“Because I said so…” doesn’t seem a legit answer in business).

And it is Toni’s hope, and mine as well – that leaping over this hurdle will be the start of a series of positive chain reactions.

I can do this. I know I can.

I just wish it wasn’t so difficult.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. Honestly, if I were looking for a photographer, I would want to read what you have written here. The “I have an eye for capturing moments…I know that in every shoot, I have that moment where I know to the very core of my being: This is [sic] (I am probably not using that word correctly, but ehh) ‘the image you, the client would want to have engraved in your memory forever, with a photograph.'”

    I look at your 365 images when you post them on twitter, and you do capture beautiful things. Be proud of your work! It is beautiful! (I don’t dish that out to very many photographers, by the way!) hah.
    Keep your chin up, your words will come. 🙂

  2. I think Christine is right, a huge part of your bio is written right there above these comments. It’s scary to step out and take a risk, scary that no one might be interested and others will laugh at your audacity, scary that they WILL be interested and you will have to deliver. The thing is, you not only can but DO deliver. People will be interested, you DO see important things, find those little moments and quirks that will make a reader become a client and a new client become a repeat client.

    You have the skill, the eye, now go kick some butt.

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