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I need acceptance and approval from other people // Emily + TJ

Halie Johnson

Confession: I need acceptance and approval from other people. And so does everyone else. Whether we are seeking approval from our friends, parents, significant others, or co-workers, it is a natural emotion we all share. Although I deal with this in my personal life, I can mostly relate to it with my photography. Even more so than from my clients, I crave confirmation from fellow photographers. I used to look at others' work and have feelings of envy and competitiveness, but the moment that I realized that they probably want and need that confirmation as well, is when that envy turned into admiration. I used to catch myself being absolutely in love with someone's photo and not telling them, simply because I was jealous. I was robbing them of a chance to feel proud and good about themselves. It MAKES MY WEEK when a photographer that I admire even likes my photo on facebook. It always inspires me to do the same, so I then go on a spree of liking, commenting, and reaching out, in hopes to continue the cycle of positivity. The biggest compliment is when another photographer asks me to photograph them. Sometimes clients hire a photographer because they don't know who else to go to. Photographers know many many other photographers, so it's clear that they are choosing me for my style. Emily, a fellow photographer, asked me to photograph her and her husband. I was honored. I took these photographs last year and although my style has changed since then, I am still in love with them. Emily is amazing. She thinks of the photography community as a team, rather than individual competitors. Instead of hoarding her knowledge, she took me to her two favorite locations and told me exactly where she had stood in the past for the best light. I talked her through some free-lensing techniques and we bonded over photography, instead of feeling intimidated by each other. Photographers: ask another photographer on a photo date, exchange portraits, and learn form each other. I have an entire list here of photographers that I want to photograph and have them photograph me.