Getting Past Self-doubt


How can I get past negativity that I may have towards my work, and get back to making photographs?

Answer by: Anurag Banerjee, Photographer

I am guessing that by “negativity towards my work” you mean self-doubt. The first thing to know about self-doubt is that every photographer, and perhaps everyone who creates work, goes through it. I find that slightly comforting, and you should seek comfort in knowing that you are not alone in this, so don’t let it bring you down.

Secondly, the best way to counter self-doubt is to educate yourself. There is nothing more affirming than being able to tackle every question that you have in your mind with learning. As a photographer, how do you educate yourself (without undertaking a course, which if you can, you should)? You go through the works of other photographers, you study photographs you admire, you read—not just about photography, but about everything. Read the news, read fiction, nonfiction, read essays, read op-eds, read pieces on photography, on film, on art. Read. Reach out to photographers whose work you admire, and ask them to mentor you.

But most importantly, and I cannot stress on this enough, you just have to keep shooting. No matter how much you hate the photographs you are making, you have to continue making them, until you improve or you read your photos differently.

This article originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of Better Photography.