In March 2022, I submitted my portfolio for consideration to an organization of women photographers. I had such high hopes and expectations, however, a few weeks later those hopes and expectations came to an end.
After the critique I received, I won’t lie, I was devastated. I put down my camera for months and did not pick it up again for quite some time. Even when I did take some photographs, my heart and mind were not truly in it.
In the past few months, I have had a change of heart and mind. After many months of thinking about what was said to me, I began to examine my photographs more closely.
I suppose even though it was a harsh review, it did make me think a bit differently, by looking at color, composition, white balance and lighting. I began to truly examine all of these factors when taking and editing a photograph. No one likes to hear their work is not up to par, white balance is grossly inaccurate, highlights are blown out, were just a few of the comments I received. Revisiting some of the photos I submitted, I now see many inaccuracies. Today, I still hear those comments in my mind, the only difference is, the volume is much lower than it was months ago.
I will say finding my way back has been a long, difficult road. Comments and critiques are meant to be constructive, not hurtful. However, I began to make my way back and analyze how I edit much more carefully, making colors and white balance more realistic. I’ve learned to pay more attention to blown highlights, to the accuracy of colors and how I use presets. I honestly did not think my composition was so off, but maybe it was. NO, I still do not think that is true!
In the past few months, I have been back to taking more photographs, which is a good feeling. Maybe my work will never be published, maybe it will, either way, I don’t worry about it anymore. I photograph what I like, edit how I like (staying realistic), and post when I want to.
I had several close friends tell me the review was inaccurate, but as I examined some of the photos I submitted, I cannot completely disagree with the critique, only how it was worded. The friendships I’ve made during this photography journey are amazing. People from all over the world, kind and generous people. People who were there to listen, understand and help me work through this very trying time in my photography life. I know there are many things in life that can be so much worse, heck, I’ve even gone through several. However, when something you are so passionate about is rocked, almost taken from under you, it can be devastating. It was devastating! As my Dad used to say, “this too shall pass”, and it did.
I am posting some recent photographs I’ve taken. Some from my kitchen window, and if it’s redundant, I apologize, but it makes me happy and is something I love to show. If I post too many porch pictures, again, it makes me happy and you can always scroll right past it. I will not be offended, we all have different likes, different tastes, different ways of seeing things, and different things that make us happy.
With that said, I hope you comment if you have had a similar experience or have gone through a period of self doubt. It’s difficult, but we do get past most anything in this life.
Thank you for reading, following along and for taking time out of your busy life to be part of mine.
Copyright 2021 Debra Nancy photography
A visual storyteller. I use flowers, tea cups, cake plates and various props to tell still life stories. I grew up in the city, but I have lived in the suburbs for over 30 years. Living close to the beach and a local small village has given me the opportunity to tell my story through photographs.