I have never considered myself an artist. I cannot draw. I am horrible at painting. My handwriting is sloppy. And my singing voice needs some fine tuning (ekkkkkk)!
When I became a photographer professionally people started referring to me as an artist, a “creative type” if you will. Well the truth is I don't feel very creative. My photography has been much, much more about capturing emotions, saving memories, and connecting with people than it has been about creating art. Now don't get me wrong, I do think that there is an eye to be had to be a good photographer. Photography is definitely a skill – not everyone with a camera can be a photographer (despite common belief).
The truth is that because I never really felt like I fell into that "creative artist" world, I compared myself a lot. I compared myself TOO much. In a world filled with social media, it's so hard NOT to compare yourself to the gal posting and getting all the "likes.”
What I have learned since social media really took off is that it doesn't matter how many followers I have, the "likes" are truly irrelevant. Instead, I make real connections with real people, and I save memories and moments of a lifetime for them. The best way I know to do this is to stop looking at my feed as a numbers game and start listening to what people want. They want real moments. Moments that happened on a day that was super special to them – a moment frozen in time. That's my job. It is to make pretty pictures, but I also think just as important to freeze time for people.
The bottom line is that if you are true to yourself, your work, and your clients, that's all the promoting you need. I am by no means putting down advertising, networking, and so on, but I do strongly believe that the best way to promote your work and yourself is to be YOU. And remember that at the end of the day, it's your clients’ pictures that are the most important end goal ... not the numbers on your social media pages :)
And that my friends is a true gift! My calendar is full; my client list is long; and I feel blessed to be able to do what I love every single day.