Tips for Building Confidence as a Photographer - Catherine Guidry Photography

May 11, 2021

Tips for Building Confidence as a Photographer

We’ve all been there; walking into a shoot or meeting with a client, feeling full of nerves and uncertainty. Sometimes it’s difficult to truly take ownership of your skills and abilities and to know your worth as a photographer, but it’s SO important to work toward building that confidence in yourself and in your work!

As photographers, we find incredible meaning and beauty within the process of capturing those important moments in the lives of others. Photography brings us joy and passion, and we love it…BUT, that doesn’t mean it’s all fun and games, and I know you know that too! Photography is also a fairly high pressure job that can bring bouts of anxiety and self doubt as well.

I’ve been doing this for over a decade, and still every day I look for ways to improve my confidence, and therefore my business. Here are some of the things I’ve discovered thus far that have helped me build confidence!

  1. Arrive to shoots early

Arriving early allows me to really get into the right frame of mind and to prepare myself for my clients! It’s important to present yourself in a calm and collected manner, as the more confident you are in yourself, the more confident your clients will be in your abilities!

Plus, showing up to a session’s location late or even just at the last minute can leave you feeling frazzled and disorganized, which may in turn leave your clients feeling a similar way throughout the entire shoot. Arriving to a location early also gives you the opportunity to explore your surroundings and find some good spots! Or even spend some time googling past sessions, weddings and images in that location!

2. Establish a plan in advance

Creating a general outline of how you’ll move through a shoot can give you that feeling of reassurance during moments when you blank or don’t know what to do next! Planning out your shoots ahead of time can also make your sessions move more quickly and efficiently, which your clients will appreciate. Knowing your next move will not only contribute to your level of confidence and certainty, but will show those clients that you really know what you’re doing!

I talk about this quite a bit in my course The Posing Plan : When you have a practiced and perfected plan you will feel so much more confidence. In regards to posing specifically this means you may even have your poses mentally (or even digitally) mapped out in Annan email so that you can move through them with ease.

3. Remember where you started

An important thing to remember is that as long as you are continuing to practice photography, you are improving. Looking back at your previous sessions and comparing those images to the ones you take now can truly be a motivating and inspiring thing! Doing this periodically is a really great way to be mindful of your progress and appreciate the skills you’ve been cultivating, as progress can be hard to gauge without seeing it right in front of you. Now, with that being said, be sure to hold onto your older work!! Even if you don’t think you’ll ever need them again, they can serve as a great benchmark for tracking your progress.

4. Keep past hand-written or emailed “Thank You’s” in a place you can re-reference

I don’t know about you..but gratitude fuels me. At the end of a wedding night when the client gives me a hug and thanks me for everything…I know all the anxiety and overwhelm was worth it. The feeling of appreciation outweighs any nerves i could possibly have!

But if ever I start to question or to doubt my skills, I can re-reference the thank yous I have! Be sure to keep those letters of love handy for when you need a little bit me up! It sill be wonderful to be reminded of how awesome you are if you’re feeling down (which we all do at times)!

5. Set New Milestones and Achieve Them

I can’t say enough about this last one. Aim high and push through your goals. It’s so easy to become complacent in your business journey once you feel you have reached some of the goals you set for yourself.

But my advice is to never stop setting them. You will continue to grow and learn in that process and truly…Just by sheer default build your confidence knowing that you’ve come so far!!!

I hope these tips will leave you with some motivation to improve your confidence and give you some ideas for how to go about doing that! Never stop looking to improve, but NEVER sell yourself short! If you have any questions or would like to contribute any tips of your own, shoot me an email at catherine@catherineguidry.com, I would love to hear from you!

Xoxo, Cat

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