On Getting Nervous | Lifestyle Photography Mentor

I was so nervous before this session!

Why? Well this family was from a model call a couple of months ago. I had a mentoring student that wanted to shoot an in-home family session with me and I didn’t have anything on the books that was exactly what she wanted. So, we did a model call. 

I always get nervous before shooting with my students. I know it is dumb and I don’t know why I do. But, I do. 

I have SUCH high expectations for myself.

I want the session to run well.

I want my students to have the opportunity to get beautiful images for their own portfolio. 

I don’t want to seem boring.

I want to make the model family happy that they gave up their time for this session.

I want my student to learn and be happy that they hired me to mentor them

I also suffer from imposter syndrome just like everyone else does. (*insert faceplant)

Basically, I just put a bunch of stupid pressure on myself for no reason. Ugh, saying it out loud, I KNOW it is dumb. 

I am saying this here to be honest and vulnerable. I want you to know that even the most seniored photographers still face fear. We all mess up, fall short and struggle with anxiety. What you see online, whether it be a website or social media, is a highlight reel. 

Yes, even your most favorite photographer in the world has a highlight reel. And that means that they also have a lot of garbage.

When I am working with mentoring students, one of the things they get from me is a video recording of me culling the session we shot together. This video is very real. I haven’t culled a single thing before I start recording. Why do I do this? Well, I want them to hear my thought process for deciding which images to keep. But mainly because I want them to see the garbage. I want them to see just how much crap I shoot. And there is a lot of garbage. 

This is really important to me because I want them to see the reality and not just the highlight reel. This exercise gives them insight into my thinking but it also gives them confidence. When all we see of each others work is the highlights, it can be really damaging to our own growth. “How can I ever shoot an image like that?” or “I will never be as good as so and so”. Those statements are harmful and untrue. Sharing all my garbage with my students boosts their confidence because all of a sudden the veil is lifted and they can see beyond my highlight reel. 

Here is what one of my recent mentoring students had to say about our time together.:

“Sabrina was so gracious in sharing her knowledge of building a lifestyle photography business. She answered all my questions, gave numerous recommendations for social media, branding and website feedback. Nothing was off limits.” – Allison

Are you interested in hiring a mentor? Or maybe you just want to know about some different educational resources I have for photographers. I would love to chat even if it is just to encourage you along your business journey.


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