Few things are capable of teaching us about ourselves in the way that photography can.
Joshua Cripps found this out early on in his artistic explorations. Having studied aerospace engineering as a young adult, he expected little more beyond taking pretty pictures when he first picked up his camera. However, as he delved deeper into the medium he came to the realization that the images he made—and the ways in which he presented them—said more about himself than he ever could have anticipated:
One of the most important things his career transition into the arts has taught? Image is everything. The majority of photographers are incredibly conscientious when it comes to the fine details and meanings surrounding the content of their photographs. However, for all too many, this hyper awareness stops short when it comes to presentation.
Consider for a moment this statement: the way you present yourself reflects the way in which the world sees you. Seems redundant, right? But, the truth of the matter is that people pick up on the confidence of others. If you want others to value your work, the first influential step you must take is to acknowledge the value of your work yourself—and treat it accordingly.
Simply put, if you doubt yourself, others will, too.
Looking to overhaul the ways in which you present your art? Courtesy of Cripps, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to kick start process:
How are you showing your work?
It’s worth taking the time properly print, frame, and mount your images exactly the way you’d like. Take a look at the sales booth Cripps used when he first began frequenting art festivals compared to the one he opted for most recently:
As you can see, the latter exudes confidence and pride in the work being presented.
What is a print worth to you?
Don’t undercut yourself. Give your work a price that reflects the value you place in it, even if you’re just starting out or feel unsure of yourself.
Is your editing process harsh enough?
Make sure you’re showcasing your very best. A photographer who edits liberally will come off as mediocre in comparison to a photographer who looks critically at their work.
Are your photographs cohesive and representative?
Take a serious look at the photographs you’re displaying. Do the photos look like they belong together? Think about what you’d like to be known for as a photographer and show off the pictures that support the image you’d like to cultivate.
If you’re looking to become great at anything, you need to believe that you’re capable of greatness. Signing off, Cripps reiterates that sentiment with the following statement:
“I’m not saying you have to be disingenuous or pound your chest and shout, ‘I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread!’ or pretend that you never make mistakes or never take a bad photo. What I’m saying is, if you value yourself, you value your work, and you show people that in what you present and how you present it, then people will value you, too. That goes for art as well as life.”
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