Right now my brain is working faster than my hands can type, which is usually the norm for anytime I have an idea of what I really really want to get down in a blog.

Lucky for you, what can take me hours to write, edit, and rearrange, will only take you a few minutes to read.

Anyway, here’s where it starts.

1. I’ve been letting myself get extremely discouraged this past week. Everyday I find more and more crazily talented amazing photographers and artists online. These are people who’s work I only wish I could create, and instead of being inspired by them to bust out making my own work, I’ve been letting myself wallow in my obvious inferiority compared to them.

Today, I am deciding to change all that. I saw a great tweet by @danesanders a few days ago that fit perfectly. It was this:

Don’t let your value depend on where you rank relative to other people.

No matter how many sweet and thoughtful comments I receive (and I thank you all for each and everyone – I truly appreciate them) I always find a reason to make myself believe it’s not true, usually because I start thinking “Well, this person obviously doesn’t know so-and-so’s work which is 100x better than mine…that’s the only reason they think I’m good”.

I don’t want to compare myself to anyone anymore, I want to appreciate and admire others while still being sure of who I am and what I want to be. I’m aiming to do that now.

2. I read 10 New Years Resolutions Every Photographer Should Make

It was very helpful, especially point #4:

I will not be hindered by the gear I do not have.

You can take great shots with any camera. From an iPhone to a $20 Holga to cheap point and shoot to a 1DMKIII. Don’t let your lack of gear limit you, but rather let it open up new possibilities to be creative.

What I wish I owned:
– At least a Canon 50D (though a 5D would be plum dandy)
– 580EX flash
– Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L (and a whole lot more)

What I have is:
– an old discontinued 8MP Canon 350D
– no flash
– just three lenses (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6,70-300mm f/4-5.6, 50mm f/1.8)

I allow myself to feel inferior because I don’t have higher quality gear. I’m going to change my attitude and focus on being thankful for what I do have and pushing this equipment as far as it will go. I may not have he highest quality gear, but that’s not an excuse to make low quality work.

3. I saw this tweet from @Etsy:

Still looking for the perfect calendar? Paste magazine picks their Etsy faves: http://bit.ly/6dFuLc

That led me to this calender by Valentina Ramos, which led me to google the artists name and I then found one of her prints to download for free. I am making it my mantra:

By Valentina Ramos
(Download the large printable version here: Abundance print – 1600×1236)

I also found this awesome website which perfectly echoed the print above: Feed Your Soul – the free art project.

It’s exactly what it sounds like – free art in the form of pdf files to download and print. There are some pretty awesome files to be had, including some from Valentina (and one from Kate Dolamore, the sister of Jackie Dolamore who’s book was just published with the author photo I took inside – how random!), so go and enjoy.

4. Which brings me to this:

I’ve been wary about showing my process for editing photos for fear of people thinking “Oh, she really can’t take good photos, she just edits them all to hell!” (that and I always feel I don’t know that much to share).

And you can feel free to think that, I’m working on not caring (even though I know I always will at least a little).

But I’ve decided to share what I know. After all, if I didn’t find people who shared their knowledge with me, I wouldn’t know anything! So I’m going to be doing more tutorials, more helpful advice, more sharing of knowledge, more love all around.

To start out, in my next blog I’m going to show four photos I found floating in a file on my computer and decided to edit.

I’m going to show the shot SOOC (straight out of the camera), after editing, and the general steps I took to get there.

Oh, and if you have questions, I’m going to work at actually answering them (I can be really bad at getting back to comments and emails).

So…thanks to everyone that made it this far. I hope to make this a bigger, better, and more helpful place to be πŸ™‚