A woman recently asked me how she could become a good photographer. I told her I’d let her know how if I ever figure it out for myself. I was joking, but there was truth in it, too.
I have a tortured relationship with photography, just as I do with any kind of creative work. I have a need to create — something which I can’t explain — but I go through predictable cycles. I try to create the beauty or truth that I see in something, and I quickly rage at myself for ever thinking I had the ability to rise to the task.
Then I struggle. I learn more about my equipment. I study different techniques. I experiment and get frustrated with failure. I spend ridiculous amounts of time in Lightroom and Photoshop. After all that work, I finally create a photo that represents a glimmer of what I had hoped to make. I feel exuberant for a few minutes.
And then I notice every little detail that’s imperfect about it — and I’m back to doubting whether I’ll ever be a good photographer.