NZPhotographer Issue 16, Feb 2019

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Mind Game: Our Comfort Zone

by Ana Lyubich

“To see, we must forget the name of the things we are looking at.“

Claude Monet

We all know that excited feeling we get when

we capture a great image – it’s a feeling of

achievement, accomplishment and success.

Everyone experiences that buzz, no matter what

their goals or aspirations are, whether you’re an

amateur photographer taking photos in your back

yard or a pro who thinks he just got an award-winning

documentary shot.

Many of us get so consumed in our photography that

the end result, the photo itself, carries a tiny piece of

ourselves within it. We treat our shots as “our babies”

and when we hear people discussing them, critiquing

them, or giving us feedback (whether we asked for

it or not!) we can start to feel anxious, feeling the

need to defend and protect our work. In a worst

case scenario, we might even hang up our camera

altogether for a few weeks or even months, taking

negative critique too much to heart.

Of course, everyone wants to hear good things about

their work, no one want’s to hear someone say that

they wouldn’t hang it on their wall, that it’s too dark,

not sharp enough etc but at the end of the day

by subconsciously lingering in the places (online or

offline) where our photos are as appreciated as we

allow them to be, we limit ourselves.

For example, when you post a new photo onto your

personal Facebook page it’s very likely that you’re

only going to receive positive comments plus a variety

of likes and hearts, no one who is a friend is going to

tell you how terrible a shot it is! But whilst receiving

positive feedback makes you feel good, it also makes

you think that you are good enough as you are and

that there is no need to push yourself further to seek

out new challenges that help you learn, improve, and

grow as a photographer.

6 NZPhotographer

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