We first struggled with a mysterious black contraption. Buttons, knobs, and rings plagued us with their abstractness yet intrigued us with their potential. We experimented. We practiced. And eventually, we grasped enough of the basics to take decent photographs.
Then came a point when those buttons, knobs, and rings became intuitive. It became an extension of our own body. We wielded it blindly. We taught others. It was no longer a creative limitation.
Though we could manipulate this black box, we lacked style. We could create enough beautiful images to keep our passion alive, but half the time, our pictures were by accident or we were just at the right place at the right time.
We were determined to get to the next level. We looked outwards. We looked towards the old masters. The Ansel’s and the Annie’s. The Henri’s and the Terry’s. We took what we liked, and transformed them into our own. And we would be praised for what others came up with.
Yes, our photos were being published. Yes, the paid gigs were being lined up. We were being recognized. But our absolute narcissism continued to fight with our crippling self-doubt. Deep down, we still felt like frauds.