Confident? or Cocky?

So if you don’t know I’m going to tell you; I LOVE MMA or Mixed Martial Arts.

Hopefully you’ve seen in my photography, I love the technical side of life as much as I do the connection side. MMA and BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) is often referred to human chess. This is because it can be a highly technical battle wits, technique, skill and luck. In it, there’s a fighter named Jon Jones who everyone says is cocky. He’s a 22 or 23 year old champ and when he talks, he has a lot of confidence in himself. For those who dislike him, they say he is cocky. I see it as confidence. What does this have to do with photography? Let’s get to it!

Photography is a hobby or career that one doesn’t  require a degree, just a love or like of the art, expandable cash and subjects willing to stand in front of your camera. Being this is the case, it causes lots of feelings; positive and hostile ones. I am totally against there being some kind of governing board for professional photography, photography is art and no one can tell you what is wrong or right. There are rules that everyone SHOULD follow, but rules don’t always apply and sometimes a broken rule can lend to a great photo! That being said, everyone at one point in time is cocky over their photos, even the most humble man deserves a time to be cocky as long as he keeps himself in check.

Because we work in an industry that has no real educational system to it, we have to find our way on our own. Being that we’re doing this, there is nothing wrong with being able to stop and be proud of yourself for taking a photo…even if it’s for two minutes before you start to tear yourself down. If it lasts longer, even better! Where we run into the problem is when we feel our photos are changing the world and all that is good is because of what we do. I realize most don’t feel that way, but there are some that do and these guys are the ones that get the most slack. I get a fair amount of slack because I am confident. I am ok with this and my largest problem is that I don’t ask others to validate my work. I have my clients do that for me.

The way our industry works, we are expected to present our work to OTHER photographers, hobbyist, working pros and masters alike and hear their critique of us. The problem with this? everyone but the hobbyist is looking for ways to tear others down! The photography industry because there isn’t a governing body, is lead by other photographers and working pros. These guys are afraid of people stealing their business and as a result if you’re not begging for their critique, you have a big head and are unworthy of calling yourself a photographer. Me personally, I don’t put my work out there for other photographers to view and critique because I honestly only care what my clients say. I tell photographers this and they get upset. Say I’m cocky and arrogant and think I’m too good. No, not the case, I just know our industry is like crabs in a barrel, once someone rises, the others try and pull them down. I am very confident in what I do! That doesn’t make me cocky, it makes me know that I present images that my clients like.

To make it in this industry you need to have thick skin. You need to be able to get through our peers and their comments and fulfill our own visions. Because we do this, often times we are told we are cocky. Sometimes, we’re just confident not only in our skill, but our ability to set a goal and stick with the goal. Are you cocky or confident?


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