On Monday I shared on my FB photography page that I missed the mark again. I submitted my portfolio to be accepted to the CM Click Pro Program. This was my second attempt. However my work was not good enough for the program. To say that I was discouraged is an understatement. I cried on and off all day. It took 13 months to have the guts to try again. And it took 6 months to put the body of work together.
I felt miserable because of the failure and second rejection. For me this program means that I can call myself a legit photographer. My friend and mentor, Jennifer Carr of Jennifer Carr Photography said something to me that will stick in my mind for years to come.
"I know you feel like that (validation) would come from CM, but the only person who can validate that is you. YOU need to believe in yourself like we all believe in you."
This past week I felt every emotion there is. I need to take Jennifer's advice to heart and really start to believe in my work. Maybe I should put on a sticky note that I am a legit photographer. It is hard to do that when you have been rejected twice to a program that is close to the heart. The difference between making it and not, is only 2 points! So close, yet so far.
Will I try again for a third time? At this time I do not know because the hurt is still too fresh. But then again, I have come too far and worked hard to give up on the goal. What I can say is this right now: I will not give up photography. I may not be good enough for this particular program, however I am still a good photographer. Along this journey I have discovered that I have a determination within me, that I did not know I had :) .
The encouragement and support that I received from the photography community was incredible. One of my photography friends sent me a link to this article by David duChemin (warning: little colorful language in the post). His words are right on. We will get hurt once we decide to put our work out there, however that should not deter us from sharing our work.
So, what is next for me personally? First up will be my gig as an alumni helper in Tiffany's workshop "The Art of Macro Photography". In October I will be attending Click Away in Seattle where I will be taking more workshops, connect with other photographers, and be inspired by some incredible artists like Caroline Jensen who will speak about "Nurturing Your Visual Voice".