You post your image in a forum.  You ask for constructive criticism. You approach a mentor with your work. What if..they say you’re bad, and you need to quit? What if they tell you that based on what they are seeing, now, the work you presented, you have no business being in this industry?

First and foremost..that should NEVER be the answer you hear. A constructive criticism reaction doesn’t DESTRUCT someone, a good mentor doesn’t tell you to give up. The point of sharing and asking for help is to figure out how to get BETTER. How to grow. How can you go from these beginning stages of your photography to what style you will end up creating for yourself? That’s what you are looking for when you post and ask, or ask a mentor. Guidance. And encouragement.

So what if you listen to those who tell you to quit? They are telling you that you are not meant to be in an industry, but they are also telling you that you’re not worth giving a client a finished product that tells a story of their lives and personality. You aren’t supposed to document someone’s personal history. They are also telling you that they apparently never started off learning, but that they magically picked up a camera and were perfect. HAHAHA! No really, think about it! When you are telling someone new that they are horrible and have no business doing something..you are saying you never started out somewhere..so you too should have quit. So..there would be no photographers in existence lol!

Can I tell you what wouldn’t have happened if I QUIT? Because the course of my life over the past five years would be completely different. Here’s what would be different or what I wouldn’t have..

Camryn.
Elle.
Wow..isn’t that enough right there to stop and just say — DON’T QUIT if you love this? Let me say more.
Shooting my first destination wedding in Key West.
Then ENGLAND.
Then the British Virgin Islands.
Then getting images in print finally and then the biggest of all, the Today Show tiny little blip that consumed my email inbox for weeks after! And made my heart soar!

And we wouldn’t live in the Outer Banks. 

OUR FAMILY’S ENTIRE LIFE would be different if I had listened because I wouldn’t have fought blood sweat and tears. If I had listened to the first mean email that came to my website, it would have changed our lives forever. Instead..my husband, my hero..he told me to keep fighting.

Maybe I wouldn’t make a full time career out of it, maybe it would just be a small job on the side…but documenting meant so much to me and I wanted to do it beautifully. It took a long time to get where I am but I sure as heck DID NOT listen to those telling me I wasn’t good enough. If it’s in your soul, keep it around. Even if it’s on a small scale. Don’t sell that camera. Practice on your dog, your husband, your wife, your future babies..and see what can grow from it. Even if you have the smallest photography business on the planet, there’s no one who can tell you that you don’t deserve it but you.

I repeat, there is no one that can tell you that you don’t deserve it but you. 

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Posted by:amandahedgepeth

<p>Hey there! We’re a husband and wife team who has the honor to document inspiring wedding days for the most cheerful couples around. We have three daughters lovingly referred to as the mermaid mafia and we love nothing more than salty beach days, laughing as much as possible and living the simple, good life.</p>

4 replies on “What If You Listen, What If you DON’T | Photography

  1. Amanda THIS post is amazing. Like to the point of tears amazing. I really needed this, thank you so much for being you & always, always being kind, helpful & completely understanding!! You are an amazing mentor <3

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