It’s been about seven years in the making, but today I published my first ever photography portfolio.
Welcome to the world danielboud.com
There’s a couple of reasons why it’s taken so long. Firstly, if procrastination was an Olympic sport I’d be representing Australia. Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow? Or the next day.
But more crucially, the long delay is because I didn’t have the confidence to stand by my work – to assemble a group of photos and say “This is the best I can do”.
Yes, I’ve always had a blog, but that’s more ephemeral, it’s based on recent work, not the best work.
I look at most photographer’s portfolio sites and I’m awed by their talent.
I don’t feel I stack up, and to create a portfolio to be judged next to theirs will have me coming out second best.
So it’s been easier to not even enter the race. I’ve survived on word-of-mouth so far.
My path to photography sometimes makes me feel illegitimate. I didn’t go to school for photography and I haven’t paid my dues assisting. And frankly, this career is something of an accident.
I often read the bios on other photographers sites and it seems a common story to say “I picked up the photography bug as a teenager and was destined for a life behind the lens.”
Not me. I don’t come from a traditionally “creative” family. My parents are both university teachers. I never longed for the bohemian freelance artistic existence. A steady income and good honest work would suit me.
I fell head over heels for photography in my mid 20’s, and it was simply for the joy of taking pictures and sharing them. There was no grand ambition to make money from it. It was simply fun and rewarding to see myself get better over time.
I may not have inherited the creativity from my parents, but I did get the desire to learn. And photography is a great craft for that – because you can never master it.
These days I get loads of emails from teenagers asking me for advice on how to become a photographer or offering to assist me. When I was their age I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. If you’d suggested a career as a photographer I’d think it absurd.
But to bring this back on track, I now feel I have paid my dues. I am a competent photographer with something to offer. I’ve shot hundreds of thousands of pictures. I’ve notched up my 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. I’ve made a comfortable living off photography for over 5 years full time and several years before that learning the craft.
And the final catalyst that gave me the confidence to make the portfolio – a creative agency asked to represent me. And they needed a portfolio.
So it was time to get over my hang ups, be more professional and stand by my work.
I had to push through the editing process and ignore the voice in my head saying all my photos were mediocre and I was a fraud.
And once I did, it all came together relatively quickly. I created a portfolio catalogue in Lightroom, selected the pictures, then built the site with Digital Photo Gallery and kept the design super simple.
I don’t share all this for sympathy or replies of “don’t be so hard on yourself”. I do it because I think a lot of people probably suffer the same self doubt and need a reminder that sometimes you’ve just got to extinguish that negative voice and push on through.