Have you heard the saying “Fake It Til You Make It“? I have always been of two minds about it. A part of me felt that it was not wise to “Fake It Til You Make It”, but another side of me has always looked further than just what I had been able to do. New things to learn, newfound skills to acquire, with the need to be ready to step up even without knowing everything.
Slowly, following development as myself as photographer, I understood two things. The first is the “Fake It Til You Make It” should really be “Fake It Til You Become It“. The second is about self confidence as photographers, and what it is all really about: your subject, not you.
Fake Til You Make It AKA Fake It Til You Become It
When I was still an amateur, I have always looked with admiration to those photographers who, during their shots, looked like they were on top of everything. Back then Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO were all known things, but they still hold an aura of magic; they were not my allies yet. Then I came to realise that to make the most out of a photo session, you need to enjoy and be the catalyst for everyone else. Makeup artists, hair stylists, models; they all look at you. And one day we just become it, maybe not completely, but we were two of those cool photographers. More importantly, we were seen as if we were.
Fake It Till You Make It to me means being the calm, relaxed photographer whom everybody relies on. It means that whoever works with you, know you are a professional they can trust and rely upon. You may be shaking inside, trying to figure out why your camera is not working, but from the outside you are the fashionable photographer.
The self confidence of a photographer
There is a big difference between the self confidence your subjects have and the one you have. In a certain sense, your self confidence is far more important that your subjects’ one, as they can build theirs from yours, but not vice versa.
Aren’t you more comfortable when the professional in front of you appears to be in control of his skills? In photography, wouldn’t be his or her self confidence reinforcing the trust relationship between you two? Yes, it would.
If you were my subject, it would matter if I were self confident.
The truth is that even if you do not know what you are doing, even if Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO stop meaning anything to you, your calm and confidence will make you succeed. Yes, from this perspective the saying “Fake It Til You Make It” is the one to follow.
Fake It Til You Make It means trusting yourself, allowing your subjects to trust you and gain confidence from it. It is a win-win situation! “Fake It Til You Make It” means making the most out of your abilities, knowledge and skills, without questioning them, especially when you leave your comfort zone.
We are lucky, but do not underestimate the importance of your professionalism
If this was a surgeon’s blog, I would certainly avoid suggesting to Fake It Til You Make It; however, we are a lucky group of professional who won’t kill anyone if we fail a shoot. The Fake It Til We Make It is available to us as it isn’t to others. That said, you should not underestimate the importance of your professionalism. Amateur of professional, portrait or landscape photographer, you have the responsibility of producing good photographs. You need to realise if an assignment is too much even for your bold bravery. Don’t think for an instant that getting into the Wedding Photography business is something to take on lightly. A wedding is intense and quick, and if you miss that moment (the kiss, the exchange of rings, etc…) well, there is turning back. In that case your professionalism would be on the line.
You can fake it as much as you want, but if you are not able to deliver, then if it your professionalism and your name will suffer
Confidence and the idea of “Fake It Til You Make It”
In the end, the idea of “fake It Til You Make It” is a matter of confidence. You have to treat yourself as a professional photographer, who knows the rules, gear and tricks. If your interest is true, you will always improve. I know I have so many things to learn. In the meantime, when I hit those elements I still don’t know how to manage, I take a leap of faith and I behave at the best of my abilities. I trust myself as a photographer, behaving in a professional way. If I see an area of improvement that can be covered in a workshop, I invest in my education to become a better photographer.
If you feel you have an area you can improve, contact us in regards to our workshops: face to face or online, we are happy to organise one2one and group workshops for your needs!