I’m selling pictures at an art market and a nice couple buys a picture and wanders off. They come back an hour later with the picture under their arm and I say hello. They say they’d like to return the picture and get their money back. I say of course, no problem, is there anything wrong with it? They say “well, we were looking at it and realised it’s rubbish. It’s just not very good.” I say I’m sorry, here’s your money back, have a nice day, they’re very nice about it, they walk off and I’m left there with an empty feeling.
Of course this has never happened and probably never will but the point is that I definitely have impostor syndrome. I’d seen that article on The Daily Post just the other day but it was talking about people who are successful and feel like frauds. I’m not successful in selling photos (yet) so I didn’t relate to it directly but then I came across thepalerook’s post a day later and it made me think. I don’t like to push my work. I don’t like to publicise it or advertise it. If anyone’s going to buy it, they have to really want to buy it. Otherwise, I’m afraid they’ll realise it’s no good and hence the nightmare scenario.
Of course, as thepalerook points out, this is all nonsense. If you want to sell goods you have to push them and have the confidence to push them. But what if you’re work really is mediocre? How do you know it isn’t? I don’t know the answer to that one. One of the things I enjoy about markets and shows is the number of people who come to the stand and say how much they like my photos. So I definitely have some admirers. On the other hand, putting pictures on various review sites has resulted in a lukewarm response.
I think you just have to be true to yourself (an awful cliche, but true) and take the pictures you like and create a portfolio you’re proud of and who cares what other people think? I wish it were that easy…