You know what? You suck.

by Outlaw Photographer James Michael Taylor on June 25, 2015

in This is Life

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You know what?

You suck.

Your art sucks.

Your web site’s an amateur piece of crap that would embarrass a real photographer.

Which you’re not.

Your dream is silly, naive, and will only end in you failinglike you’ve done so many times before.

You’re not even capable of learning how to make art, make clients happy, or how to act and market and shoot and sell like a professional.

You’re an imposter. An immature, self-absorbed, selfish wannabe who’s getting laughed at right now by the cool kids – the ones with real cameras, real clients, and real talent.

Unlike you.

I think you’d best listen to a real professional and quit playing ‘photography business‘ before you really embarrass yourself.

Let me ask you:

Would you ever…



allow someone to talk to you this way?

Or to someone you love?

Then why do you say these things to yourself?

Think about it.

“The key, maybe, is resistance, and it is people saying no. And it should fuel you, and make you that much more determined to see your dream come true.”
– Jessica Alba, Inc. Magazine interview

Next Steps

  • Think about it.
  • We are always our own worst criticdon’t worry, you’re in great company. But what we desperately need is to be our own biggest cheerleader. We need to stop treating ourselves worse than our worst enemy, and start treating ourselves with love, encouragement, and grace. It starts with recognizing negative self-talk, whether actively or lurking about taking jabs in our hearts and minds. Commit to catching the Resistance in the act from now on, taking a deep breath, and taking dominion over your self-talk.
  • Brainstorm session: How did the cruelty of those negative words affect you? Did any hit home, emotionally – a pain point where you’ve beaten yourself raw? Make a list of all the negative self-talk you do to yourself on a regular basis. Now, put on your Best Friend hat, and rewrite that list in the positive. Read this (much better) list every day. Recite it out loud each morning and each night, even if you have to ‘fake it.’ More often than we recognize, the mind follows the body: the more you speak the words, the more conviction you imbue into them, the more you open your heart to show yourself love and grace, the more powerful these words will become in changing your life.
  • My writing at exists to serve your needs as an amateur photographer making the transition to paid professional. I am truly grateful for your readership, and encourage you to subscribe to my e-mail newsletter at the top of any page of this site.
  • What’s the biggest struggle holding you back right now? E-mail me your answer (yes, right now!), and let’s make a breakthrough today.
  • If anything in this post has spoken to and inspired you, please comment below, drop me an e-mail, or call or text me at 830-688-1564 and let me know. I’d love to hear how you use these ideas to better your part time photography business!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara Neira July 31, 2015 at 12:51 pm

This brought me to tears, the day before my 1st “real” session. You have given such wonderful gifts to so many, I love this blog. Thank you for lifting up complete strangers. I think I can, I think I can…maybe I just will.


Outlaw Photographer James Michael Taylor August 5, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Thank you so much for your honesty and readership Sara. How did your first session?

I know you can do this – if I can do it, and so many others I’ve visited with over the years can do it, I have no doubt that anyone with the desire and fire can become a successful part time photographer.

A little guidance, a little bravery, and a lot of #hustle will take you anywhere you can dream. #hustle is what most would-be’s lack, and I know you want to be way more than just a wanna-be. You’ve got this Sara!

Please do keep me posted on your successes and adventures!


Sasha Booth August 7, 2015 at 12:36 pm

I’ve said all those things, and more, to myself! I’m an amateur but trying to learn more and hopefully, at some point, earn a little money consistently to help cover small expenses of our family. I’ve had a few paying “clients” but I always feel & think these things before, during and after the shoot.Thank you for the encouragement to think differently!


Outlaw Photographer James Michael Taylor August 16, 2015 at 9:06 pm

Sasha, thank you for your comment and kind words!

You’re in excellent company – artists everywhere suffer these battles with imposter syndrome, insecurity, distorted perspectives of self worth, and an inability to recognize the value of the art and experience they create. There is no artist at any level of success who doesn’t suffer some of these in some way – and many, all of them. Those who persist with tenacity up the mountain of success recognize these feelings as the many faces of Resistance, and never grow numb or apathetic to them, but learn to transmute that energy into powerful, positive energy, driving the engine of their progress.

Read some Seth Godin, like The Dip and The Icarus Deception; read the invaluable War of Art by Steven Pressfield. The latter especially will show you the truth about these feelings, and how they prove that you’re doing work that’s important.

Thank you again for your readership Sasha! Please do keep me posted on your successes and adventures!


stephanie koster August 23, 2015 at 9:45 pm

Thank you so much for the encouragement! after taking photos for three years I still have a hard time charging for my work. I stumbled upon your blog while searching for pricing advice and it has really encouraged me and I am feeling so much more confident! I was wondering if you had any printing advice. Maybe a suggestion for a quality online printing company.


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