5 Signs You’re Photographing For Others and Not Yourself

at one point or another, every photographer goes through a spell where they are uninspired with their photography.  sometimes it can be because you are simply uninspired, but other times it can be because we are photographing for others instead of for ourselves.  when we photograph for others, our goal is to satisfy someone else instead of ourselves.  whether it is a photography client who hired us for our services, or a wider audience, sometimes the pressure to photograph for others ruins our passion for photography.  here are 5 signs you’re photographing for others and not yourself.

it’s time for you to put you and your photography first.  check out what 10 photography resolutions you should be making.

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5 Signs You’re Photographing For Others and Not Yourself

5 Signs You're Photographing For Others and Not Yourself | Bethadilly Photography

1.  You Photograph For “Likes”

if you only pick up your camera to take a photo because “it will get a lot of likes” on social media, you are photographing for others instead of for yourself.  while taking relatable photos is not always a bad thing, be sure that the photo you are taking is still representing you as a photographer and what you want to be known for.  photographing for others will quickly burn you out, leaving you only taking pictures to gain a reaction instead of taking pictures because you truly want to.

2.  You Photograph Because You Are Asked To, Not Want To

one thing people don’t understand about photographers is that…we don’t always want to photograph.  just because we like to take pictures, doesn’t mean we want to do it all of the time.  we like to pick up our camera when we are inspired or when something catches our eye, but not necessarily when others ask us to.  if you feel like you are photographing only because people ask you to, you may be photographing more for others and not for yourself.

3.  You Change Your Photography Style To Please Others

if you feel like you take on photography styles just to please a client or to keep up with what’s trending, you are photographing for others and not for yourself.  this can be one of the worst things you can do for your photography because it will not only lead you to become burnt out with your photography, but you will also have a portfolio full of images that don’t relate to one another.  in turn, you will keep getting hired to take pictures you don’t want to take because you are showing others that you are embracing any photography style.

having a photography style that truly represents you and your passion for photography is one of the most important and successful things you can do for both your photography and for yourself.  if you need help finding and developing your own unique photography style, be sure to check out the styled photographer: a guide to finding your unique photography style.

4.  You Photograph Only To Get Paid

while getting paid for your photography is definitely a perk, it’s important that you remain passionate about photography.  if you feel like you only pick up your camera to get a paycheck and don’t enjoy the actual act of photographing, you may be photographing for others and not for yourself.  photographers who are in business should still maintain a passion for photography.  if you aren’t feeling passionate about your photography business, it may be time to determine if the type of photography you are offering is what you are truly passionate about.  it’s always okay to change it up, especially if it is to enhance your passion.

5.  You Photograph To Reduce Your Guilt

as parents, we feel a sense of guilt when we don’t photograph each and every milestone our children accomplishes.  if you feel like you are picking up your camera only because “you’ll regret it if you don’t,” you may not be photographing purely for yourself.  find a way to make photographing your children fun!  maybe this means picking and choosing what milestones you really want to photograph and finding other ways to remember the others.  write down ways that photographing your children can be fun and get creative with your photos.  think about what photos will truly make you happy and take them.

photographing for others is not always a bad thing, but if we find that we are photographing for others most of the time, we are putting ourselves and our passion for photography on the back burner.  this only leads us to become burnt out and resentful towards our photography.  by taking the time to determine what type of photography we truly love and politely say no to the rest, we are investing in ourselves and our passion.  and photographers who are passionate take much better pictures than photographers who pick up their cameras for the wrong reason.

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