FREE PEOPLE dress
I’ve had a few conversations recently about modesty, and in particular about being “too” modest and how it can effect your work – and for a while it got me feeling like this was a bad quality I had somehow grown. But really, I like being this way. I like looking at my work as a photographer and not feeling an overwhelming sense of self-satisfaction, and rather seeing the bad along with the good. I don’t think I ever want to think I’m crazy good at something because then what would I be working towards – so in my mind, modesty is a good quality – and besides, self promotion is just so cringey! I was reading an article written by Zanita recently, about selling yourself to a potential client (something I struggle with so much as I hate patting myself on the back) and she said something which really hit home for me :
“It’s no secret, when it comes to business – the ability to sell yourself is very important. I resent this so much, my Mum always taught me that there’s a particular grace in being ultra modest. When someone tells me I’m a good photographer, my first instinct is to say “No I’m not, I’m just lucky, I have a good lens!”
I read this and was like YES THANK GOD YOU LOVELY HUMAN. I was brought up the same way, and I’m always mumbling some excuse or shrugging it off when I get a compliment – and this inevitably makes selling yourself pretty hard. Since moving to Cape Town and freelancing I’ve realised that sometimes what I consider as being humble can actually just come across as having no self-confidence and being unprofessional – 2 things that I definitely am not. I feel super lucky that most of my work comes from people approaching me – which means zero self promotion is needed – but every now and then it’s necessary and that’s why I’m working on it, because it would just be stupid to let good opportunities pass me by, especially for something as silly as this!
It’s all down to personal growth in the end, that’s what I’m telling myself at least. Small things I’m constantly working on is being confident, friendly, & professional in all situations – I reckon it’s hard to go wrong with that formula! Does anyone else deal with this too?