YOU'RE OVERTHINKING IT
I absolutely love working. Not just being busy mind you but actively brainstorming, creating, and releasing work that I am proud to put my name on. Let me go too long without sharing something new and I'll start to become incredibly anxious. Which is why you'll notice that I tend to release a lot of content on a near daily basis. It's a habit that comes naturally to me but Chase Jarvis said it best; "Create. Share. Sustain.".
Since relocating to Nashville earlier this year Kirsten and I have found ourselves in a lot of conversations with artists, typically right after a shoot. Often times they comment on how "fast" we are. We setup a time, shoot, and more often than not have the final photograph finished and posted online within a few hours. I used to think that everyone operated that way until I realized these people weren't being overly complimentary. They were genuinely surprised.
Then came the coffee meetings, dinners, and friend of a friend introductions where photographers start talking about how they're "going to do/want to do" ___________. They ask for advice on the best light kit, how we get clients, and how to contact the people they want to photograph. Don't get me wrong, we're happy to take the time and answer peoples question. I consider it incredibly humbling and am honored that anyone would appreciate the work enough to ask for our advice. But often times the ones asking haven't picked up a camera in weeks let alone put out consistent work. They're just overthinking everything. Their Instagram "aesthetic", logo, website layout, lighting, camera...everything except the actual taking of a photograph and sharing it. They are waiting for that one brilliant concept that's going to send them into the stratosphere and don't want to risk ruining their brand with mediocre content. Problem is you need a brand to ruin in the first place.
I hate to break it to you but the world isn't waiting on baited breath for your perfect plan. Nobody cares if you think your work is "ready" to share or not. They want to be inspired. They want to discover something new and be a part of it. So you don't have the newest lighting kit or camera body? My camera, lens, and light kit are over ten years old now. No large crew or cool locations? I can't tell you how many single covers, posters, editorial spreads, and profile photos were done in our living room against a blank wall. iolite, Medic, Paul McDonald, MULOUX, Claudio, and the list goes on and on and on.
Look, it's never going to be a masterpiece and even if it is you won't know it until much later on in your career. So ditch that delusional ego that's tell you "one day it'll be perfect" and do something, anything at all, worth talking about. Honestly, as a photographer (or director) I was never really ready. Each shoot threw me further and further into the deep end and forced me to evolve. I had no master plan or brilliant body of work. I planned, shot, released, and repeated that process time and time again. Here I am seven years later still refining the workflow on a daily basis but with a massive catalogue to show for it. Creating and sharing in a singular motion only makes me better at what I do while freeing me from all of the anxiety and self-inflicted pressure that comes with overthinking.
In the end it's really not that complicated: stop overthinking and release your work.
The rest will take care of itself.