I'm not sure WHEN it started, maybe it was the 3 cups of coffee and the two cherry pepsi's that started the ball rolling...or maybe it was staring at a certain wedding blog for hours and hours that day, trying to figure out the key to being accepted into their secret world. Whatever it was, it started this horrible cycle that just about drove me insane. I stared at the pictures in Lightroom for hours, editing them-then re-editing them again because they weren't what I thought this certain blog would like. I altered my vision for the shoot and the way I wanted them to be presented-but why??
It's crazy how influential other's work & bridal blogs we follow (or the mere thought of what people may think) can alter who we are as artists. It can really mess with your confidence and ruin pictures you once loved! I literally got to the point of "I want to delete them all". I was going crazy trying to MAKE myself & make my work become what I thought would be exactly what they would want. You see my friend...I wanted their gratification, their "stamp of approval" to help define me as an artist. I just felt if I made it there on their blog-I had finally made "photographer status". But WHY was I so obsessed with this? Why did I let contests and features define me?? because like everyone else-I live for the gratification that comes with being an artist. We all want to feel and BE loved.
Reaching 1.2 million people is prrrretty amazing...don't get me wrong. But honestly is it really worth sacrificing who you are, what your vision is and getting your feelings hurt when they don't accept it? Granted you never know till you try, but for me-losing who I am and the vision I have for the portraits isn't really worth it in the end. So I am going to submit them as they are, the way that I want them to look. I encourage YOU to not lose your vision, your voice, just to appease someone else. Yes getting that feature is great, getting those "likes" makes you feel good and seeing your hard work in print is pretty amazing. Just don't give up your soul...
Hang in there and keep rocking it out, because who you are and what you create is beautiful. It may not be their cup of tea, but it will be someone's.