Is it just me or do you hate releasing new work as well?
Whenever I am out in the field, the last thing that crosses my mind is how people will react to my new works of art. Much more concerned with my exposure, composition, and the overall mood I wish to implant within my image, I simply am not thinking about society’s perception of my artwork. For a while, when editing these new images, I am not thinking about this either. So why does it seem that every time I go to post my new images online – even if they are being posted on my website where there are no “likes” or “followers” – I get a gut-wrenching feeling. My stomach begins to toss and turn, threatening to bring up last night’s dinner.
Okay, so maybe it isn’t that bad
No, I have never made myself sick over posting an image online. That is not to say that some people have not struggled with that immense amount of anxiety over such an otherwise preconceived “simple” thing. However, I have not had to struggle with that and I am no doubt grateful. Still, every time I go to put my work online, I find myself second-guessing everything.
Is this image as strong as my other work?
Will people like what I am posting?
How will this image fit in with the others?
Maybe it would be better if I brought the shadows up a bit…
No, maybe the whites need to be brought up and the shadows down…
My anxiety builds
This only ever happens with work that I absolutely love. The images in this post are prime examples. Every image I have displayed has some sort of emotional connection to me. I love them as though they were my children. And in a sense, they are: I have created them after all, have I not?
Putting your work out there is tough
Trolls scour the internet, waiting for the perfect victim to prey on. They will tear your work up, attacking not only it but also your little old grandmother who had passed away a few short months ago. You know what I am talking about for we see it all the time. And it sucks. But we need to look past these trolls. We need to think about all the other people who will see your work and fall in love with it. It does not matter if there are five comments from trolls on your latest work who say that it belongs in the trash. What matters is that one, single other comment made from a genuine person. Maybe what that one person has to say is not that your work is amazing but rather they are providing you with ways to improve your next shot. That’s okay! They are just trying to help you and mean no harm.
Push past your fears and throw your work on the screen
I am often terrified of putting my work out there, but I still do it. I know that I am always improving and sometimes I seem to take a few steps backwards with an image. Maybe it won’t get half as many “likes” as I would have liked it to. There’s a good chance I will want to tear it down and start over, blaming the time of day I had posted or the algorithms that had been installed. But I know, deep down, that I am always improving. Not every follower will see my image – that’s just the way social media seems to wish to keep it – and I know that, for those who do see it, it may not be to their taste.
But that does not mean that it should not be put out there. If I stored away every single one of my favorite images, never letting the light of the screen shine on them, then I would have nothing to show online. So instead, I bite the bullet and post my work. Because that is what we do as photographers. And if we do not post our work online, then how are we to know if what we are doing is any good?