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Yes, I Like My Pictures

Somehow it can feel naughty to say that I like my own pictures. Have you ever felt that? That you would somehow be perceived as not being humble, or being narcissistic, if you said that you love what you do? I don’t love every single picture that I take, hence why I only show 50% of what I shoot. However, I do love the pictures that I put out on the internet. I wouldn’t put them out there unless I loved them, or unless I wanted feedback.

Liking my own pictures does not equate to any sort of status, either personally or socially. I will never declare I am the best photographer, nor the worst. I will not say that I deserve awards or recognition, but I do believe in myself. I believe in my abilities not as a photographer, but as a person who wants to achieve.

If you are creating, it is often because you love it. You put time into your art, you put thought, and you put yourself. You are your art, more often than not. And if all of these things are true, it makes sense that you would love your art. Even if every picture doesn’t come out perfectly; even if others don’t love your art. It is a love for the process, the strength and determination and sweat and tears that go into creating. It is a love for yourself, enough to know that your ideas are worth being heard. And it is a love for confidence, enough to put your images out there and share them with others. That takes courage.

And so it takes courage to step out boldly and proudly to say, “Yes, I love what I do”. Heck, I wouldn’t even be creating if I didn’t love it. I get excited at the prospect of shooting. I am downright giddy when I edit. And when the time comes to call it a day – to save a .PSD, and a .TIF for printing, and .JPG for sharing on the internet, I am proud. I am excited by the end result. I know that I have taught myself something each time, whether about myself personally or technically. I know that I have spent time on something that truly represents who I am, either literally or within my imagination.

I can think of few greater accomplishments than knowing what you love, and then overcoming the fear of creating it. Artists should give themselves credit for not only figuring out what they want to say, but then also saying it. Telling a story takes courage, for it is one thing to keep it inside and quite another to allow others to judge you.

And so it goes on the internet: judgment. Here it is and here it will remain. We will hear good and bad. We will hear the naysayers and the do-gooders, and within the space of both we must allow our own opinions to shine bright. If we do not believe in ourselves, we cannot expect anyone else to believe in us. And so I say, with as much fervor as I can put into these typed words, that I believe in your story, in your art, in the art you have yet to make and the stories you have yet to think up.

Everyone has a story to tell, and it is up to us to believe those stories are worth being told.

Be proud of what you do. Be proud of what you have yet to do. Be proud that you tried, or will try. And if anyone asks you if you like your own images, answer proudly with positive affirmation. We might not love it all, but we love enough of it to keep moving forward.

{ 11 } Comments

  1. Rfotofolio | November 15, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Beautifully expressed.

  2. Bonnie Scholer | November 15, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I have found inspiration through your creativity and encouragement! I absolutely love the way you sew an image together to create a piece of surreal art! Thank you, Brooke Shaden!

  3. Jen Brook | November 16, 2013 at 3:38 am | Permalink

    I’m so happy to read this today. I often talk down about the pictures I create in fear of sounding arrogant. But you know what, I love my ideas, I love making my ideas and I love having them finished in my hand. I should not be afraid to say that!

  4. Susie | November 16, 2013 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    I also like your photos :-) I am not a biggest fan of my own art, but it is my motivation to improve my skills and do not stop creating. I love reading you essays, they’re so motivating and the photos are magic!

  5. Mary Bullock | November 16, 2013 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Well said. This photo reminds me so much of Maxfield Parrish – one of my favorite artists. Love your work!

  6. Anne | November 16, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I began my photographic journey just six months ago. A dear friend wrote this: “And so the journey begins. We take the first step with a click…with a print. And with each step along the way, whether or not we’re aware of it—just the love of it and the doing of it is giving form to our uniques vision. Eventually, we can stand back and look at our body of work and begin to see a mirror of who we are and how we are. Ultimately, all photography is a self-portrait, whether you’re photographing a face or a flower.”

  7. Denise Jensen | November 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Your image and encouragement meld together in the most inspiring story of courage and passion. Nothing feels better than becoming lost in ones art. Its so true that this process of creating, and its outcome, will only thrive and improve if we nourish it with our own support.

  8. Rose Fredriksen | November 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Dear Brooke.

    I made you a videoletter in appreaciation of your efforts to make the world a better place. I sent you the link to your videoletter on your homepage contact site.

    Hope you get comfy in your best spot, with some hot beverage and give yourself some time to relax and enjoy your gift.

    Best regard Rose Fredriksen

  9. Tara Eveland | December 19, 2013 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Brooke, I love reading and coming back on ‘bad days’ and re reading your encouraging posts. You are so positive, yet truthful. If it wasn’t for you I would never have started to put my work out there or even begin this journey I am on for inspiration and knowledge.
    I have however on the blog that I created for this journey, disabled any comments, so that I do not have to read any negativity. This might be a cowards way out, but then on the other hand, Im not looking for praise on my blog or my work either, Im just simply looking to document my growth and the way I go about on this journey. I have it open for others to view if they wish, and read about what I am doing, but I just didnt feel a need for comments.
    Again thank you for always being so inspiring, and I just ordered your book last night, so excited to get it (by saturday it says!) and dive into it! Its my christmas present from my hubby and I couldnt be more happy!

  10. Odalys Pomales | January 1, 2014 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    I love your work and all the encouragement you give . I love photography, but I’m picky about my work. People around me always tell my pictures are beautiful. I guess I have to start believing more in myself and put it out there !!!!!! Thanks

  11. Robin | April 25, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Hey, sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this. I was wondering if you would allow me to use one of your images as a sidebar picture on my tumblr blog? I would put credit to you in my description. I love your pictures!

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