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CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes – WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business

Yesterday Joyce Smith shared on the MCP Blog about the important role of confidence in having a successful photography business. Now it is your turn.

wordsmith logo web 41 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business

WordSmith is giving away 5 HUGE Prizes – each Prize is valued at $380.  This is a total of $1,900 worth of prizes.

Each of the 5 winners will get all 5 guides:

{what to wear}: seniors guide (Brand New)

senior pricing menu (Brand New)

{what to wear}: children and families

{what to write}: the perfect words for client communications

{how to sell}: the complete online sales workflow

To those who just have to have some of these right away, use the code “mcp” now through November 1st for 15% off any of the WordSmith Products.

To enter the contest:

1. Think about your level of confidence in both your personal and professional lives.  How does confidence relate to your ability to interact with others, your ability to capture the pictures you love, and your ability to sell yourself and your work to clients?  (If you are not in business you can skip this last one.)  Rate your confidence on a scale of 1-10 and explain your score.  If your confidence is not good, please share what you plan to work on to get it there.  Conversely, if you have a lot of confidence, please share a tip on something you do to help yourself feel more confident. Enter your thorough comment on this post (commenting on Facebook does not count – you must be on the blog at http://mcpactions.com).

2. Blog about this contest, post to twitter or post to your facebook wall or page, letting people know to come here and enter. Once you do this come back and get a BONUS comment – just tell us which you did.

Sample Twitter Post:  Win 5 WordSmith What to Wear, How to Sell, What to Write Guides & Pricing Guides @mcpactions – http://tinyurl.com/winguides

Sample Facebook Wall Post: Are you confident? Do you lack confidence? Come share your thoughts on confidence at MCP Actions Blog @ http://tinyurl.com/winguides and have a chance to win $380 in WordSmith What to Wear, How to Sell, What to Write and How to Price Guides.

Here is a sneak peek at all the WordSmith products:

what to wear seniors promo 1 900x898 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Businesswhat to wear seniors promo 2 900x847 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business

pricing menu screen shot with sample 900x720 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business

what to wear web preview CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business

 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business

 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business

 CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes   WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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387 Comments

  1. 1
    Cindy Ellis says:

    I would rate my confidence level at a 5. The reason for this: I am shy and just overall tend to feel like I don’t measure up or have much to offer. However, I have been working diligently at my photography for 3 years now, and I know I have improved by leaps and bounds. I definitely feel better about myself and my work when I do a great session and get lots of positive feedback from it. I also have better self confidence when I make an effort to improve my appearance. I plan to work on my confidence level by paying special attention to my attire and grooming (not that I am usually a slob, but when I go to the extra trouble to have a professional appearance, it really makes me feel more confident). In this same vein, I strive to appear professional whenever I am out in public, because you never know when you might run into a client or a potential client.

    I am also trying to focus on all the positive feedback I have received from clients, friends, and family. I tend to have alot of negative self-talk in my mind, and I need to let all the real world praise drown that out. I am good enough to do this!

    I am working on improving my website to better reflect my work and my style, while also making it more complete so that potential clients may have a full pictures of the experience and the products offered by my studio. Having a solid, attractive site to back me up will give me more confidence in my business.

    I definitely feel that confidence level is extremely important for selling my work and my portrait experience. I have to believe in myself if I expect others to believe in me.

    I look forward to reading the tips from those with buckets of confidence;)

  2. 2
    Cindy Ellis says:

    Bonus entry: My tweet about the contest: http://www.twitter.com/sillecindy

  3. 3

    [...] 2 votes vote CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes – WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business Yesterday Joyce Smith shared on the MCP Blog about the important role of confidence in having a [...]

  4. 4
    jen says:

    confidence:
    personally– i have remained rather meek most of my life. that said, never possessed much confidence. i think my confidence levels have grown as i have grown and matured as a person.
    professionally– i am able to be a bit more confident b/c i believe in what i do and i LOVE it. i interact much easier with others concerning photography than i would in normal everyday situations. on the business/marketing aspect of things, i am still a little hesitant, probably from a lack of experience AND at times, being a little too involved “emotionally” as stated in an earlier post by Jodi and pricing myself. i have come to realize that what i do is valuable, the time i spend doing it is beyond valuable and i need to treat myself as valuable. i need to become better @ communicating that in my work and selling my product to others.
    on a scale of 1-10, i would rate my confidence @ 6-7. i know there is room for improvement and growth.

  5. 5
    Heather Byrd says:

    OMG!! I soooo need these guides!! Jodi you are incredible to be giving people these opportunities!! I would say my confidence level is a 5 on the inside and a 9 on the outside. I feel comfortable with my skill but not totally confident yet. However, I never portray this to my clients. I want them to feel like they are getting the best so I portray that I’m the best. They never know that I’m second-guessing myself through the entire session. I always feel much better when I get back to my computer and start editing and see that I had no reason to worry. I just can’t help it. I noticed when I first started out practicing on people, that I gave the vibe that I did not know what I was doing. This did not help the “clients” relax and enjoy the sessions. I noticed that the more confident I became, the more relaxed they were which really helped capture better images.

  6. 6
    Heather Byrd says:

    I tweeted the contest!!! @infinityimages

  7. 7
    Sarah Wise says:

    I’d say my confidence score is about a 3 or 4 right now. I’m just starting out in business, but have been taking pictures and photography classes for several years. I think I take good pictures, but I have a lot to learn about the post-process: editing, pricing, etc. I’m also very introverted, so I really need to work on putting myself out there and trying to attract more clients. I’m trying to do this by building a website and still learning as much as I can to improve my photography and editing skills. I would love to hear how other photographers worked on these things when they were just starting out in their businesses!

  8. 8

    To be honest my confidence fluctuates quite often. Sometimes I will nail a session and be like wow that worked! Other times I will think wow I wish I would have done this or that. I think my confidence level is about a 6 right now. I think confidence is HUGE in this business. I don’t see how a shy person could really sell their ideas as well as someone who is more confident and more of an extrovert.

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    I tweeted about the contest -jodylynnphoto :)

  12. 12
    Jessica says:

    I would rate my confidence as a 4. My reasons being that I am just starting out in the business. I do tend to be kinda shy and not well with words. Yet I have been working on my photography skills since I was in high school. I can see that I am improving and that definitely boosts my confidence up. Especially when I have an amazing sessions that turns into fabulous photos, at least to me! Another downfall is I am a stay at home mom (not that that is the downfall) and I don’t have the funds to buy an amazing blog or website like a lot of the professional photographers. Having to figure everything out on my own has also brought my confidence down. I am a very fast learner, but it takes a lot of time to learn all the business aspect, which I still haven’t quite yet. I am trying to improve each day though.

  13. 13
    Jami Peters says:

    My confidence level is about a 5. I feel like I’m still having to work hard to produce consistent results so I tend to get nervous at sessions and I don’t come across very confident. I want to learn my gear better so that I’m not fumbling around during sessions. I also want to try to fix up my studio and my wardrobe so I come across with a higher level of professionalism. And most importantly I want to be able to value my work at the highest level possible.

  14. 14

    I would rate my confidence level around 5. Confidence is one of my biggest hurdles. It easier to hide behind the camera and work on those skills or sit for hours at the computer gaining knowledge and working on photoshop skills. I know that having confidence in myself and selling myself to clients is a lot harder. For me I remind myself of my ‘current’ knowledge base and remind myself of my passion and that is how I prepare myself to sell what I love. Another helpful thing to me is exercising, which has been sorely lacking as I put too much time in on the computer. When I work out it makes me feel better which in turn helps me feel better in front of people and behind the camera (with all the bending, laying, standing on benches, etc.) So for me, it is important to remember my passion, feel good about my self and find balance/organization to my life so I can convey all that to my clients, present and future. That was a lot easier to type than it is to pull it all together within myself though! Thanks for your post on confidence. It really got me thinking!

  15. 15
    Denise Olson says:

    Posted on Facebook!!!

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    Dana says:

    hmmm. My confidence level varies. Sometimes I’ll meet a fun happy couple or some adorable kids and I have a clear idea of what I want to see as a finished product. I am just on a high…usually about an 8.

    But there are other times when I am at a 2! When I have people who are unenthusiastic or I am shooting something that I’m not comfortable with. For example I did a commercial shoot recently. They liked my portraits and how I work with people….but stock photography is completely different! There are so many nitpicky details that I have to watch for….where in a portrait situation, they would be less of a concern.

    I try to get my confidence level up by having a clear idea of what I am going to do. If I am shooting a senior, I will look at other senior pics I have done and then hit flickr for some inspiration to keep me from resorting to the same old thing over and over. If I have kids or a wedding, I try to make sure I am overly preped. Not just with my equipment, but with my mental outlook. I can’t race from chasing my kids to shooting a sleepy baby without a moment to calm myself down and think about where I am going to be…

  18. 18

    I tweeted! JeanineKrupp on Twitter

  19. 19

    My personal confidence is about a 9…not due to arrogance, just the fact that I don’t rely on other people’s opinions in regards to my self esteem. Professionally, I’m about a 4 as a photographer…I really to need to learn so much more technically. But…I rate myself about an 8 in confidence in my “niche” photography, which is taking ordinary photographs and enhancing them with textures, etc. to become more like art. I enjoy that and take no offense at all if everyone doesn’t like my style, I like it!

  20. 20
    Niki Manning says:

    After pondering this “confidence” questions for a few moments, I remembered how timid I was when I was initially beginning this journey as a photographer.(I would estimate my confidence level as a 3 then….) I remembered how I lacked confidence in myself and my product. This has evolved and changed over the past few years for the better. I can’t say that my confidence is through the roof now and I will explain why in a bit. When first starting out, there are so many things to learn (business, blog, website, workflow and proofing) and a sense of being overwhelmed which can drain confidence itself. Slowly, though…..things fall into place and you start feeling comfortable in your own skin again. Clients “love” your work and start becoming repeat customers and telling friends. That, by itself, I feel is a confidence booster.Slowly, I began to look for new ways to market myself, put my name out there, and be confident that I am a photographer!
    Now to my confidence level today…….I believe that it is probably around a 7. I say that because I can honestly sit down in front of my computer and look up my favorite photographers that I want to be “just like…..when I grow up” and I look at their work in awe. They inspire me and then I aspire to become even better. I think it is good to be humble about your work and want to always improve and the number 7 makes me happy that I am no longer a 3, yet gives me a drive to improve to a 9…..and I am not so sure that I would ever “want” to be a 10!

  21. 21
    Nydia Kehnle says:

    I would rate my confidence a 6 when it comes to actually photographing and an 7 when it comes to selling. Its kind of funny because I am not a very social person even though I am a portrait photographer. I think that is my biggest hurdle is that I get anxious meeting my new clients.

  22. 22
    Erin Jensen says:

    I would say that what I project is totally a 10. For sure. I have to be confident during a session. I am the professional. lol On the inside I would say that I am a 6. I know my photos will be great, but there is always that doubt that what I want will happen with the connection I need to make with my clients. Overall I would say that I am confident, but it doesnt come easily. Like anything else I know I have to work on being confident.

  23. 23
    Heidi says:

    Aaah, the whole confidence thing. I’ve REALLY been working on it. I really enjoyed your post on it, in fact. I feel like I’m still floating in the 3-4 range. I know I’m getting better at taking pictures, but then I also become aware of how much more I have to go!

  24. 24
    Leesa M says:

    my photography confidence is about a 2. I LOVE taking photos of my children, family, friends, etc and playing with them with actions/textures, etc. and people always comment on them and ask me if they can schedule a shoot with me. but I’m terrified of that! I don’t feel that I technically have the savvy, the witty personality to manage a photo shoot and get people comfortable enough to capture their true essence, etc. and I have absolutely no confidence in adding a price to my shots.

    I’m not looking to make photography a full-time business but it would be nice to have the confidence to accept the requests I receive and price them to make a little bonus money on the side.

  25. 25
    Suzanne Williams says:

    I think my level of confidence is probably about an 8. It’s a lot higher than it used to be, but I still find myself comparing my work to that of other photographers and thinking that it falls a little short. To build my confidence I plan to keep growing and learning daily!

  26. 26
    Gina says:

    I’d have to go with a 6 or 7. I have gotten pretty confident in taking charge of a shoot, making clients feel comfortable and making them know that I know what I am doing and that I love what I do. Kids come much easier and I have a blast with them. I tend to run and play with them, leaving mom and dad to sit back and enjoy the break. My confidence lacks most in family shots. I find them overwhelming when I am shooting 7 or more (which I seem to be getting alot of these days). I am not sure that it is so much my confidence as it is just the general chaos of a shoot of that size. Couples sometimes are a bit of a struggle. Again not sure it is so much my confidence as it is the couple’s tendenacy to feel “akward” posing and getting “romantic” when we shoot on location in a public place. I really feel that confidence comes with every session. Anything new is always a bit scary and incomfortable for everyone, photographer and client. You can see a 110% difference when you shoot a family for the second time. They have a better feeling for what you do, your style and why you do what you do!

  27. 27
    Suzanne Williams says:

    I tweeted about this contest! – suziew82 on Twitter

  28. 28
    Carin says:

    I would give myself a confidence rating of 4. We recently moved to a small town of 3,000 people. There are already 3 photogs I am aware of. Being the newbie in a little town is incredibly difficult and I have hardly put my foot out there. It makes me sad to think about it really. I have a HARD time giving out my card in a town where everyone knows everyone, except me. I need to just get out there and share my love of photography, whether it brings income or not.

  29. 29
    Jessica says:

    I tweeted about this: jlm0520 on twitter!

  30. 30
    Julia Wade says:

    6. Definitely a 6. On the cusp, the edge of feeling really confident. With each session I do, each new client I meet, with each new inquiry, I feel more and more ready to take on a photography career and am SO excited to do it. :) K, so maybe like a 7.

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    Jessica says:

    I also posted this on Facebook-http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=22215126

  33. 33
    Julia Wade says:

    just tweeted … @jularun7

  34. 34

    I have big dreams, I dream a lot. I’ve been dreaming for nearly 40yrs now, always thinking oneday, oneday… My self doubt holds me back in making my dreams come true. ‘What if I don’t make it? What if I can’t do it? What if I look stupid? Can’t afford it, too tired, too busy’ All excuses, keeping me in my safe little zone, when I really want to fly. How to change? I’m working on it! Simply by thinking positive thoughts only! pushing back that negativity. When those thoughts come up I push them back and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I’m worth it! My talents are a gift. I can have want I want out of my biz and my life if I only believe I can. I read something that Joyce wrote that really struck home, a lightbulb moment. You can tell everyone about a movie you loved, you need to think of yourself that same way.

  35. 35
    Laurie LeBlanc says:

    I also posted a comment on my facebook

    Laurie LeBlanc: Are you a photographer or business person that lacks confidence? Are you very confident? Come read and post on MCP Actions blog and enter to win a $380 prize from guest blogger Joyce Smith of Wordsmith Products. http://mcpactions.com/blog/MCP Actions Blog, photographers, photoshop, training, photoshop actions, tutorials, tips, contests,
    Source: mcpactions.com
    MCP Actions: resources for photographers – Photoshop actions, training, workshops. MCP has multiple choices for photographers.

  36. 36
    Regina says:

    I think the level I have going right now for me is a 5. Some days it’s a 7. But I look at what others are doing with clients clothing and psoing and wonder why I can’t get that. I’m wondering if it’s how I communicate to them. I love doing the photography and the outcome of the photos most times. I know they love the photos or else they wouldn’t come to me. Not sure what my real problem is yet. I just want to get images I LOVE and sometimes I don’t and wonder if it is the lack of confindence I have.

  37. 37
    Tonni says:

    I’m pretty new to the photography business, and my confidence goes up and down by the week, depending on how I feel about my most recent shoot. When I feel like I nailed it, and I’m excited about my work, it’s about an 7, but when I really struggled with posing/lighting/stiff people, I feel more like a 2. But, consistency is coming!

  38. 38
    Laurie LeBlanc says:

    This was such a timely post for me. I really want to do something more formally with my photography, but my confidence level is just not there. I am comfortable around family and friends, for the most part, but I don’t yet consider myself a “real” photographer. Outside of photography, I am much more confident, probably 7 or 8, but with photography, I’m probably at a 5. I’m happy with some of my work but not enough to say I’m ready to start taking pictures of total strangers by myself. I am taking steps to improve though. I’ve joined some local photography groups, I’m trying to purchase some equipment that will help bring my abilities up (taking pictures in low light is a big challenge right now), and I started a blog. Thank you Jodi and Joyce for the excellent blog piece and for your generous prizes!

  39. 39
    Kari Dawson says:

    I fall somewhere in the range of “why am I going to enter this contest? Do I even have a chance at winning?” I do have much pride in the written version of myself. I believe that in writing I come off a lot more confident and communicate more openly than I do in person. I’m not all the way there yet though. I’ve always taken pride in my appearance. I dress professionally at all times whether I’m meeting a client, doing a shoot, or running to the grocery store and I’ve just always been that way. Before the inception of my business I considered myself the shyest person on the planet. My personality has grown, and while I don’t really think my level of confidence has changed much my level of comfort working and communicating with others is really something I have grown into. As my work improves my confidence behind my work improves but I do struggle quite a bit with selling myself. I can be quoted actually as telling my clients “I’m not one of those people that will sell myself to you; I let my work speak for itself.” In looking back, I think I’ve devalued myself by saying things along those lines. In working with clients a lack of confidence does hinder how I work with them and the images I’m able to obtain because I’m afraid of looking stupid or being silly and I’m just flat out too embarrassed I guess. The sales end of things is completely online, I work out of my home and only shoot on location. I have a large family and I don’t have a designated space or the time necessarily to shoot as often as I’d like AND have in-person sales meetings. I do offer my time and make myself available though for those clients that want my assistance. I don’t want to feel like a saleswoman or that I’m forcing them to purchase items they don’t want or need. I’m certain it’s a lack of confidence which seems insane because I’m very proud of my work and want it to be showcased in my client’s homes. I’m a born again Christian and do truly believe that as my faith walk matures and I have a greater revelation of His love that confidence and self-love and love for others grows from that. In addition, I will continue to stretch myself more with each client, to get comfortable with the anxiety of it all until the anxiety ultimately passes and I’m certain it will. I think at this point, I rate myself around a 5-6 just because I want to give myself props for how far I’ve already come. The feedback from my client’s is always amazing and such an awesome feeling. I think now, I need to quit assuming they’re just being nice and BELIEVE them and believe in me. For the record, I didn’t say I was short on words, ha ha!

  40. 40
    Rachel says:

    I started my business photographing weddings and engagements and my confidence level was around a 4. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t loving what I was doing because photography is my passion! I love taking photos of everything – people, places, animals, flowers it doesn’t matter as long as I have my camera in my hand. It wasn’t until I was asked to photograph a newborn baby that I realized where my real love for photography rested. I am currently in the process of changing my entire business over to strictly photograph maternity/newborn/child/senior portraiture. I absolutely LOVE these kinds of sessions and you can see that through my work. My confidence level is now at a 6 but I’m hoping to make it higher once I get the entire business transitioned to the new market. These WordSmith products would be absolutely perfect for helping me to do that. Because I need new album samples, business cards, brochures, etc, the transition has been taking a little more time than expected and the new clientele is only slowly coming in. These sets from Wordsmith would help tremendously!

  41. 41

    I tweeted https://twitter.com/iamsampearce and on my facebook too, “are you confident in your biz? or do you need some help (like me!) MCP Actions have a great contest going on, go check it out..http://mcpactions.com/blog/2009/10/21/winguides/

    oh and I forgot on my comment above, I would put myself at a 6 out of 10!

  42. 42
    GayleV says:

    I feel like my confidence level is at a 5 right now. I am just starting out and, though I feel extremely confident in my photography skills and my developing style, I feel much less confident in my ability to run a successful business while still being mom to my family. I am trying to find ways to dress more professionally and to not constantly tell myself about all the ways I might fail. There is SO much to learn about the business-side of photography. I think Joyce’s guides look wonderful and would really help me feel more confident about running the day-to-day business part of photography. Hope I win!!

  43. 43
    Elyse says:

    I think that I would rate my level of confidence at a 6. I am really the most confident when I’m behind the computer editing, and seeing that “hey, I really did do a good job!” If you would have asked me half a year ago, I would have said a 4, but with more practice at shooting, I have become much more confident in my portraits, family and children sessions.

    I think where I need to grow more confidence is with my weddings, and valuing my work. I am the type of person who is really affected by my surroundings, so at weddings when everything is crazy, I tend to feel the stress of the situation. I have a hard time, also, explaining how I want people to angle, or put there hands.

    And with valuing my work, I tend to feel bad charging a lot of money because I know what it’s like to be on a budget, but half the time I end up feeling that, even though I LOVE being a photographer, what I’m getting paid isn’t worth the time I take to take the pictures and edit them. Ho-hum, I hope I don’t sound like a drag, I don’t mean to!

  44. 44
    Wendy Mayo says:

    My first thought was that my confidence in my photography skills was an 8, but my confidence in selling myself is more like a 4. I have always had confidence in what I do, but I have been overweight most of my life and that has led me to being less confident about selling myself as a business woman. The physical is changing now, and I hope I can change my mind as well.

  45. 45
    Mique says:

    I loved Joyce’s post about confidence. It made me think long and hard about confidence. I would rate myself right in the middle. Somedays I am more confident, others I am way less- so I am probably in between. I have been sitting on the sidelines of photography- wanting MORE THAN ANYTHING to start my business. But I’ve been too nervous. Seriously that post made me want to jump right in. I found myself saying “I think I can. I think I can,” over and over. My dh is a very confident person- he works full time but has a little side business too. His confidence is what sells his clients. I need to learn a thing or two from him. ;)
    I would LOVE to win- it would be the perfect kickoff to my business- for reals.

  46. 46
    Audrey Coley says:

    I would rate my confidence level at a 7. It used to be much lower but I had to get away from the people in my life who were bringing me down. It was really holding me back, and made me lose focus. I am trying every day to learn and push forward. I just dont believe we ever get “there”, and thats what I love the most about this job. Doing something that I believe in 100% helps to give me confidence!

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    Mique says:

    I just announced it on FB-
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/profile.php?id=1092817399&ref=nf
    (not sure if that will work- you can look me up- Mique Mendioroz Provost)

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    Audrey Coley says:

    I posted this on facebook :)

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    Heather says:

    I would say my confidence definitely fluctuates – I mean doesn’t everybody’s? Some days are good, some days, not so good. Overall – I rate my confidence at an 8. Like I said in my comment yesterday – I am realistic about where I am on the learning curve. I have lots of room to improve, but I look forward to doing that. I think it is fun! on days when I don’t feel so great about my skills or myself – I just try to remember how much I have improved thus far, and what I have to look forward to!

  51. 51
    GayleV says:

    I tweeted!! @momandcamera on Twitter.

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    meagan says:

    I would rate my confidence at about a 5. I have struggled with this all my life, not just in photography. But I am just starting out as a photographer… haven’t even done any shoots for money yet, all just freebies to build my portfolio and get experience. I am at the point where i am ready to start charging for my hard work. Although I’ve had people ask me about taking their pictures, they haven’t followed through to book an appointment. I think this will come; I’m just trying to be patient. I think that definitely confidence is KEY… I just really stuggle with it, especially being a new photographer. To boost my confidence, all i can do is practice, get experience, and remind myself that i have to see in myself what i want others to see in me!

  53. 53
    Kendra L. says:

    I feel that my confidence level probably a 6-7. I am slowly working on getting my site and all my marketing pieces to come together! and just knowing now who I am and where I want to go is an awesome feeling!! It has been a huge help in raising my confidence level about what I do and I am sure it will be a huge step in getting the sales and selling myself! I am very confident when I meet with a client that is super excited about my stuff, and that makes my selling points come very easy. but I have to get past the hurdle of telling random people about me and giving them my card. Reading blog posts like yours that says that we are not alone in our confidence struggles helps raise it up some too! Thank you so much for the chance to win these awesome pieces! They would help me even more to get everything together!

  54. 54
    LaShawn says:

    4…

    I REALLY need to work on this. I have been taking steps to be more assertive in telling my subjects what I have envisioned. I am naturally an insecure person, so it is a work in progress.

  55. 55
    LaShawn says:

    I Twittered about it!

  56. 56

    My confidence is probably a 5 when it comes to my photography, mostly because I know that I have a lot more to learn, and there are many others out there who do it better than me, so that makes me want to study and research and learn more to make my performance better. The fact that I am generally not an outgoing person doesn’t help with the confidence level either!

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    jennm says:

    I’d give myself a confidence rating of about 5. I am somewhere in the middle of the confidence range. I know I can take decent pictures and that I have a great eye for seeing things. I feel awkward taking money for them though sometimes. I know if I ever want to have a successful business, I need to work on my confidence in my ability to deliver great pictures to clients.

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    Kassia says:

    Whew. I think my confidence level varies based on what we’re talking about. Overall, when it comes to photography, my confidence is around a 6. When it comes to shooting… a 7-8, selling…3, self-marketing…. 2, pp….5, customer service…8, etc. etc.. It’s definitely a struggle. As a military spouse, we relocate every few years, so just when I’m getting comfortable in a market, we move and I have to re-invent myself and start all over. It’s tough at time and time-consuming for sure. I’m constantly on the road to self-improvement… I read a lot, practice a lot and vent to my husband a lot. :) And, reading these blog comments has been a help, seeing that a lot of other photogs are struggling with similar issues! Thanks for this fantastic contest. I love the WordSmith guides and think they’d help with my workflow a lot!!

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    Amy Blake says:

    Like others, I think my confidence fluctuates a bit from day to day. But that’s part of what I love about photography – there is always room for growth and improvement, but also things that you have learned already and can feel good about. I try to portray confidence to clients – hopefully at least an 8 on a scale of 1-10, but internally, my confidence can waver a little more and drop down to more of a 5-6 occasionally. I always try to remind myself to use those lower confidence times as motivation to go out and find a way to “fix” whatever I’m feeling insecure about!

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    I’m still very new to the photography field, so my confidence varies from day-to-day/shot-to-shot. I’d average it at a fragile 6.5. I’m lacking the experience necessary to build that confidence up and give me mountains of solid proof. But, experience will come with time, as will the confidence. In the meantime, I’m putting myself out there more and more. I refuse to miss an opportunity to grow.

    I’m confident enough to say I have natural talent and an eye, but now I’m working to build knowledge around that talent so I can experience my full potential. These guides would help me build my knowledge, so I’m really hoping to win them!

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    april says:

    I’d say that my confidence is around a 5. I’m still very new & I know I have a lot to learn, so I’m hoping that it will improve with time and experience. I also have a bad habit of always comparing myself to others, which is not at all good for the confidence level. I need to remind myself to focus on my own journey…

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    Nikki says:

    Confidence for me varies in so many aspects of my life. Starting out in the photography biz I am less confident of projecting my new career, almost hesitant. But when I am editing or making products for my clients I can see that this will change. I am hopeful. Slightly shy at first, but will talk you up the tree once I feel comfortable. I would rate myself as a 6 on confidence scale, I have a vision of where I want to be in 5 years and that drives me to improve. I am seeking out a mentor to not only critique my work, but to examine the business chooses that I want to make.

    My website is 1881photography.com
    Currently I only have a personal blog for family and friends

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    Tori says:

    I think my confidence level varies based on what we’re talking about. Overall, when it comes to photography, my confidence is around a 5 because I’m just starting out. When it comes to shooting…8, selling…2, self-marketing…. 3. I definitely needs these guides…HELP!!!

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    I would rate my confidence level at a 5. The reason for this: I am shy and just overall tend to feel like I don’t measure up or have much to offer. However, I have been working diligently at my photography for 2 years now, and I know I have improved by leaps and bounds. I definitely feel better about myself and my work when I do a great session and get lots of positive feedback from it. I strive to appear professional whenever I am out in public, because you never know when you might run into a client or a potential client. I am also trying to focus on all the positive feedback I have received from clients, friends, and family. I tend to have alot of negative self-talk in my mind, and I need to let all the real world praise drown that out. I am good enough to do this! I I definitely feel that confidence level is extremely important for selling my work and my portrait experience. I have to believe in myself if I expect others to believe in me.

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    Meg says:

    Definitely a 6 or 7. It seems to vary depending on how smoothly each session goes. Luckily that’s just all the more reason to learn more. The more I know, the better prepared I feel, the more confident I am going into a session. And the more confident I am in myself, the more confident my clients can be in me too.

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    tracy says:

    Definetly varies 6-10. Confidence means the ability to call the shots and not let the clients call the shots. One of my clients recently told me she admired that I had the confidence to turn potential clients down if they did not share in my vision (they wanted boring traditional family shots, I don’t do those).But then other days I just give in. I think all artists struggle with some days feeling their work is great, other days feeling anyone can press a shutter button. Key is having the confidence to execute your ideas, EVEN IF THEY FAIL.

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    april says:

    I tweeted! – @aprilziegler

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    1a. On the days where I am most confident, the shoot goes much more smoothly. The clients (especially kids) are more relaxed and no one gets bored. When I shoot without my confidence, it’s a horrible experience!
    1b. My confidence level is at a 6. I’m still very new to photography, but I learn a lot quickly and it shows in my shots. How to get more confident? For me it’s continuing to always plan my shoot out ahead of time and taking more pictures. I strive to rely on the light around me and NOT think about what I can do in post processing to “fix” it.

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    Patricia says:

    My confidence in my ability to capture images that I love? A 7 or 8, becuase sometimes I still feel like I get incredibly lucky and don’t know the technical stuff as well as I should. I think that I’m hard on myself, and my worst critic.
    My confidence in my ability to sell my self and my product? Ughhh, thats hard. A 4 or 5, maybe on a good day. It would mean I would have to talk about myself. It means I have to put myself out there and meet new people. It means I have to be okay with my pricing, and okay if a potential client doesn’t confirm their session with me because they can’t afford me. It means I have to realize its because they cant afford me and NOT that my prices are too high. Im getting there. I think it helps to have a network of other photographers who can support you (or give you a swift kick in the bootie). I have also realized just in the last couple of weeks that If I dont change my perspective on the biz side of my it, I will fail. So its getting higher, Im becoming stonger. A work in progress. (sorry I rambled)

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    Sarah Pierce says:

    I rate my confidence at about a 5. Last year, it was probably a 2! With each new session, I am gaining confidence not only in my work but in the way I relate with clients. I enjoyed reading Joyce’s article about confidence–it hit right on the money. I feel that with more experience and direction, I will get my confidence even higher…ask me next year. :)

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    Becca says:

    I’d say my confidence is around a 4 (maybe a 2 or 3 . . . ) I need to work on it for sure! (that’s why I need to win this haha) . . .

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    Tricia Burns says:

    My confidence level is starting to rise. I think now that I am having a steady stream of clients it’s boosting the thoughts I had about myself. There are days when I don’t feel worthy and others were I feel like a rockstar and then most where I just feel like I am ok. LOL I would say on a scale, I’m about a 6. I think It also depends on the type of client I have as well. The more I work the better I feel. Thanks for the contest!

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    Jessica Peters says:

    4- I think i have the same what am i doing spending all this time …bottom line…my family time is soooo more than im giving it! Jessica

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    I feel my confidence level hovers between 4 and 5. I am still new to the “biz” having only been official since March 2009. I have been working on my photography skills for almost 3 years. But in those 3 years there hasn’t been a ton of time working on my people skills and feeling comfortable with telling people what to do. I am a SAHM and have been for almost 10 years, so I spend a lot of my time with my children. So, I’m fairly confident with them, but older clients, not so much. I also feel like I need to work on my creativity and being able to see the shot in my head before I do it. I sometimes let my nerves take over and draw a blank. Then I end up forgetting a number of shots that I’d like to try. There are really a number of things that I really need to improve in in all aspects of the business. But I’m having fun while doing it!

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    Olivia says:

    My confidence levels varies each day. I am new to professional photography and when I go awhile without doing a shoot I sometimes forget how passionate I am about what I normally love to do. But as soon as I have a terrific photoshoot my confidence level can go up to about a 7. The excitement that comes after your clients know you’ve done a great shoot with them and the happiness they have when they receive their proofs/photos is very rewarding. I know I still have a lot to learn but I know what my style is and where I want to be.

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    Megan says:

    My confidence as a photographer sways. Sometimes I feel on top of the world. At other times I feel like I should just throw in the towel. give up. walk away. For that reason I would say on a scale of 1-10, I average a 6. I have no formal training. I wasn’t the little girl that always had a camera in my hand with dreams of one day becoming a photographer. Joyce Smith said it best in the previous blog, “Regardless of my cautious, sometimes reluctant-to-speak-up nature, I still possess something extremely invaluable to what I do, and that is my overarching philosophy–my unshakeable, sincere belief–that what I do has meaning.” What is it that sets me apart? What makes me different than the next mom with a nice camera and self-taught Photoshop skills? Honestly, it is the belief that photography is my passion. It’s what I am meant for. I have the opportunity to catch images of people’s life. A single captured moment that they can only return to through my art.

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    Theresa M says:

    My confidence is about an 8. I go into a shoot with 100% confidence in myself and my skills. I think clients can tell when your not 100% sure in yourself. So, even when I may be having a bad day confidence wise, I pretend I still have it!

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    It’s funny how my confidence changes. I’m confident in my work so I’d give that a 7 or 8, but not so confident in selling myself, which I’d give a 5. Once I get to a shoot, my confidence SOARS and I have so much fun interacting with people and know when I nail a shot or when I need to do it again, I walk away knowing I’ve got amazing images for that person. But, I do have to gain more confidence in advertising myself and selling myself, luckily I have an amazing husband who helps me every chance he gets and it’s amazing to watch him in his business and how well he does promoting himself and installing confidence in his clients. Day by day I learn from him (even though he’s not a photographer) and I hope to learn more by watching him :)

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    Theresa M says:

    Posted on Facebook

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    Jill says:

    Oh wow I really need this! My confidence I would say is a 4. I think that shows too. I’m very shy and just don’t feel as creative as I’d like to be. I don’t like telling people no or what to do. I this the biggest thing that would help my confidence improve is practice practice practice. I need help getting people to act natural. Not caring if I act like an idiot as long as I get them to laugh. I know I’ve got a long way to go but I’ll get there eventually!

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    Posted on twitter and facebook :)

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    I would say my confidence level is about a 7.5. :-) When I’m in front of customers, I’m fairly confident. Even when I don’t feel it, I do my best to project it. It’s the part where I’m getting ready to get in front of my customers (returning phone calls, etc) that I lack confidence. Part of the problem is that I put things off, so I have too much time to start doubting myself. Guess what I’m going to work on? ;-)

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    Jan says:

    What an awesome prize giveaway! I would rate my confidence level at about a 5. I am by nature a very quiet person but having a camera in my hand changes that. I am able to converse and interact with my clients much easier than if I was just standing there trying to strike up a conversation. I would love to win the {how to sell guide} because it would really propel my business foreward. Thanks for the opportunity!

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    Meghan says:

    I would rate my confidence around 6. I am not a professional, I have hardly charged for my photography (other than getting paid small amounts for taking sports photos for my university), however I have been taking photographs since I was probably 8 years old. I’m just now starting to do more portrait work and I hope to continue that in the future. I’m brand new, so I’m nervous. All. The. Time. But I do go in knowing that I’m decent at what I do and I am horrible in front of the camera and I keep that in mind while shooting. I want people to be comfortable. And usually I’m able to do that, which is my goal. I hope to improve this with practice, practice, practice! I’m getting better all the time and if I can see this, then I’m sure others can. I’ve been wanting to buy Wordsmith items since I thought about starting up my own business but haven’t been able to afford it.

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    Ashley Alstad says:

    I would rate my confidence around a 5 or 6 – I am am normally shy person and I sometimes feel that I have a hard time doing self-promotion and sales. I am confident that I am a good (Not Excellent) photographer although I do lack in sales; I am just starting out and I find that when meeting with a potential client I sometimes find myself lowering my prices to meet the clients needs. I am working on gaining confidence through reading and following professional photographers and how they do things and how they have succeeded or failed in certain aspects of sales and photography.

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    Sherida says:

    What is that saying? Fake it until you make it? I would say my confidence level can vary depending on the job I am doing and level of demand I feel from my clients, BUT here is my trick… I try not to let my clients know when I am less than confident. I would say overall my confidence starts at a 6 or 7, but I try to project a 9 or 10. If I try to put something new into practice during a session (change of lighting etc.) I never let my client know that I am not sure of what I am doing… so as not to blow that trust and confidence I am trying to build. It’s important for me to be confident (or at least appear confident) so they too will be (sorry to overuse the word) confident. I think that them having confidence in their photographer puts the client more at ease, resulting in a better session – so even if I am not sure what I want, I just keep working like I have a plan. I do tell them that not EVERY pose or look I choose works for every client/session and that I am not afraid to call something a flop and move on. They seem to like how up front I am about not wanting to waste their time. I think I could be more confident personally, and it would help in the sales side too, but I do think that when I communicate I come across as a confident photographer… just don’t corner me and ask me to reduce the price of anything or give you free stuff (those are hard scenarios to come across as confident) and hopefully I can keep faking it until that gets easier too.

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    Meghan says:

    Posted on twitter @meghancamino!

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    Laurie Y says:

    I’d say about a 5… because sometimes I am at a 8 or 9, and sometimes a 2 or 3 lol. I have good days and bad days, plus things I’m better at then others. I know I am less confident at outdoor lighting, especially when flash is needed. Studio I am great at. Certain ages I’m better at then others… etc.

    The biggest thing that’s helped me grow my confidence is learning the craft and exerience.

    I know I have a long way to go… much to learn, so my confidence is still low at times. I think just learning and growing will help the most.

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    I would give my confidence level about a 4. That’s pretty consistent with my personality in general. I have the hardest time projecting myself as someone who knows what she is doing. I find myself wanting to downplay my photography to clients, making sure their expectations aren’t too high. I really plan on working on the technical side of my photography over the next 6 months, which will help with my confidence. Also, the more sessions I do, the more comfortable I am getting with interacting with people during the session. I’m just glad I had children to practice on in the beginning. My boys aren’t quite so intimidating. :) These products look fabulous!!

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    NightinGail Photography has been in business for five years as of November 1st, 2009. I am a one-woman show (literally) and have learned that I have to SELL myself to all of the clients, vendors and others who want to use my services. I do not have a studio but do work out of my home. 90% of my business is weddings and engagements and the competition is absolutely fierce. Confidence has come through working hard at my craft – both taking the images and post-processing. I have attended seminars, training, one-on-one sessions for sales and marketing. Bottom line.. if you know you are good at what you do and have the confidence that you can do a better job than anyone else, you project this into your client consultations. In my experience, it is rare that once I have met the couple (either on the phone or in person), I book them. I go into every meeting prepared to discuss their needs, listen carefully to what they want, show my fabulous work, and make them “fall in love” with NightinGail Photography. Does it work? YES.. but I do not want to stop learning and would absolutely want to be the winner of this fabulous marketing package.

    Gail

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    Twittered! @NicoleWandrie
    Thanks!

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    Tasha says:

    Both personally and professionally, I am struggling with confidence. I would probably rate it at less than 4. Like everyone, I have good days and bad. Right now, I am still trying to build my business and I am realizing that it is not as simple as I thought at first. I do however, have the ability to fake it when it comes to clients. I can go to a shoot and be so nervous and unsure on my way there but once I get there, it’s like another persona takes over and I can tell them what I want them to do or how I want them to look. My biggest weakness at the moment is talking to clients. I’ve had several inquiries that I have fumbled through, I sound like I don’t know my own product and needless to say, nobody bothered to call back. I’m trying to take everything one day at a time so I don’t allow myself to get too overloaded.

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    Andrea says:

    I need this too, lol! I would rate my confidence at a 7. I always get nervous before a shoot, but once I’m in the shoot and interacting, it always turns out OK. I do well with the kids, but with adults its definitely much harder. That said, I’m having a “season” of doubt… and can’t seem to shake this. I need a boost of creative juices to take me to the next level. I have a hard time with posing and am not the greatest wordsmith, so your bundle would be FABULOUS for my business. Thanks for considering me.

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    I would rate my confidence at a 2.. I have to say that is probably the biggest thing that holds me back. I don’t have whatever it is that allows me to stand in front of a complete stranger and take control. So I talk myself out of charging, and really just stall at putting myself out there.. I guess I am contantly wondering if I am good enough..

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    just shared on facebook! thanks

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    Facebooked it: “entered the MCP actions contest — it’s all about CONFIDENCE BABY, CONFIDENCE!”

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    Michelle O says:

    In general I’d say my confidence is around a 5. I prefer to shoot landscape and flowers over people. I prefer to shoot people in stealth mode, rather than interactively. I am much less comfortable directing my subjects than just shadowing them. I think the way to get more confident is to practice. I think for me the most valuable tool in this prize package would be the “what to say” book.

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    Teresa says:

    I would rate myself at a 4. I start out knowing I will do a good job, but then I come away thinking am I cut out for this, even though people tell me all the time that I do a great job. I think this would help me out for future clients. I really hope that I am picked. For this.

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    Sherida says:

    Bonus Comment: I posted about this contest via facebook profile, fan page and twitter. Thanks for the great contest Jodi!!! You are always coming up with ways to help us all succeed!

    http://www.facebook.com/eleventhstreet
    http://www.facebook.com/sheridaleigh
    http://twitter.com/eleventhstreet

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    Kendra L. says:

    posted on my new twitter account!! I still have to get into tweeting:) http://twitter.com/kendralindula

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    Lauri Hill says:

    When I first started I would have rated my confidence level at 2. I was meek, weak, and afraid of messing up so much that it effected every session I did. Someone gave me some sage advice. She said you have been a mother for years, you raised 4 sons to be great men. Channel your inner mother. That is what I did. When I go on a job now I have no problem communicating what I would like the client to do, and I am able to listen to, connect with, and enjoy my interactions with the new people I meet. I now would rate my level at 8. I still have issues with image, but am working on that next.

    Jody is such an inspiration. I love how she shares her knowledge with us and is always introducing us to new people. I’m off to check out wordsmith now.

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    Jennifer Page says:

    My general confidence level is a 7 if I am just talking or presenting on the fly, but if I have pre-planned what I am going to say, then it’s between a 8-9. The worst feeling to me is being under-prepared.

    My confidence level regarding discussing photography session-related particulars (how to dress for a shoot, etc.) is probably a 4-5. I am a beginner portrait photographer and feel these WordSmith guides would help me so much with making sure I rememberd to tell my clients everything they will need to have a successful session with me! My confidence would be a 10, as I would feel my clients would be super prepared for their shoot, leaving me to focus on getting the shots I want during the session!

    This is a great product – exactly what I need!

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    Chris Alward says:

    I would rate my confidence at a 6 or 7 with my clients. I always have some self doubt about the final product. I worry they won’t love the pictures and prints so I definitely lose confidence on this part. I am very confident going into the photo shoots but it’s the delivering the final product that always gets me worried and start the negative self doubt. I need to take pride in my product and trust my abilities. In my personal life my confidence is a 9.

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    Leah says:

    My confidence level is right in the middle, probably a 5. I’ve got the session down, the post processing, and meeting with the clients. I’m still working to do a lot and show why people think I’m great but I still lack the sense of getting my name out there well enough. I also lack at communication on clothing, no matter what I do or say or even show examples people don’t seem to quite get it, I must be saying something wrong!! But I do know my work is great, and people love it but I’m still trying to break through so others know me better, and make sure there is clear comunication. I think once that happen I will be an 8-9 at least!

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    Leah says:

    Facebook! leahhirschferguson

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    Laurie says:

    I would rate my confidence level at a 5. I’m in the middle of the road. I’m on the fence teetering towards a successful photography business one day and another failed business the next.

    For three years now, I’ve been trying to excel in my photography business and truthfully… somedays I just feel like throwing in the towel. I don’t like that about myself because all of my life I’ve strived to to the best in everything that I do. What’s that old saying? “Be a job big or small, do it well or not at all.” Words I’ve lived by – until the last few months. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I know the economy is down and most people are just trying to survive from day to day in my community. My husband has been out of work since August. It’s just that some days, the daily struggles of life hit home with me. Then, with me being my worst critic and being somewhat of a masicist, I tell myself that it’s because my work “isn’t as good as so-n-so’s,” or even “you don’t even look like a photographer…” or “your fat and frumpy…” or “who’s going to want you to work for them when you look sloppy…” or “your car is a piece of junk,” etc. Somedays, I feel like I’m a rowboat against a hurricane. (Wow, I AM really hard on myself.)

    BUT THEN… There are those glorious days that keep me going and striving to do more… to do BETTER! …those days that I look back at my own work and I feel proud of what I’ve created! …those moments when I am showing a client their pictures and they gasp because I’ve captured THAT image for them. I even got an “Oh, Jesus!” last weekend! lol It’s these days that keep going and striving to do my best. It’s in the eye of the hurricane that I find peace and creativity.

    What am I going to do to improve my confidence level? I’m going to pray first of all that thank God for the talents and abilities that He’s given me. Then I’m going to pray that I win this contest!!! lol But really, I’m going to pull myself up by the bootstraps and put on my big girl panties. I’m going to “fake it ’til I make it!” I CAN do this! I AM a success! My business WILL succeed because I just won’t have it any other way.

    Wow! I feel better just having written these things down. Thank you for the opportunity to do that! Big blessings to you and yours!

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    Sarah says:

    My confidence level is about a 3:( I really need to get better. I know that my images are better than most parents but I when I compare them to other photographer that’s when I become SO discouraged. I have loved photography for so long and finally when I decided to try it out it seems like it is the new “trend” which I hate! I lear better from other than I do reading and know this would help me so much! What an awesome thing to give away!

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    Donnell says:

    Definitely a 9… and a 6. I’m a 9 on the outside and a 6 on the inside! I’m fakin’ it ’til I make it … and I think it’s working. :-) I don’t know that I will ever make it to a 10 on the inside because I have seen how vastly my work has improved over a very short amount of time (thank you to MCP, Clickin’ Moms, and all of the other wonderful online resources), therefore I am not 100% confident that I will ever think my work is consistently, wonderfully, impeccably perfect and there is no room for improvement! On the contrary, to others I count on being that “10″ photographer to those around me… I fully plan on others being totally confident in my abilities and products and coming back to me time and time again. I fully plan on eventually knowing that others value my time and products so greatly that my prices reflect this knowledge. I fully plan on having a full schedule, working when and as much as I want, and having the ability (or need) to decide if I need to hire an assistant or scale back my business. :-) I plan on getting to this wonderful, professional place by continuing to have these expectations for my business. I actually hope I never make it to a 10 on the inside… if I make it to a 10, that means I see no room for improvement… no need to stretch, reach, push, pull, or drag myself to where I want to be!

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    Tamara says:

    My confidence varies..I feel it is very important to running a successful business. You need to be the guide for your clients. You lead and they will follow. If I value what I do then it rubs off on clients. Joyce’s guides are marvelous!! I think what will help me is setting up a solid business base and a set work flow. I need to work on being confident so I always feel as a 10 and not 6-10

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    Julie says:

    Well, I don’t really know how to rate my confidence. It depends on what kind of a day it is. If the sun is shining, I’m shining. If the sun isn’t shining then I’m not shining. I suffer from weather depression. I shouldn’t let the weather dictate how I feel, but I do.
    Today is sunny so I guess my confidence level is about 7/10. I learned today how to say no to spontaneously added things into my tightly scheduled day. I felt bad about that but I felt relieved.
    Ok, lets think about this. I’m shy & quiet. I do own and operate a home based business so I’m use to dealing with customers. Even the difficult ones, that can run you down in the self esteem area. I always inside and outside of my business greet people with a smile and a friendly face. I try to exude confidence and hope that it doesn’t come off as being too cocky.
    This has got me thinking…. I really need a lot of work :)

    I tweeted about this contest: http://twitter.com/JulieFN
    I also put it on my facebook status.

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    Donnell says:

    I tweeted! @donnellprobst Funny, I must not tweet too much b/c my last comment was an MCP tweet! LOL

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    Leslie Perry says:

    I would rate my confidence right now at about a 5. Before every photo shoot, I am a nervous wreck, and lack confidence, but after I finish editing the pictures, and get feedback from the client–my confidence has risen. I think I doubt myself too much, and I have always had a problem with that. Confidence is such an important trait to have in the photography business. You want to be able to interact with the clients, make them comfortable and make their session fun and enjoyable–this is so hard to do when you lack confidence. It is also hard to sell yourself & your art when you have no confidence. I think that as I continue to learn and develop as a photographer, my confidence will increase. I also think that if I stop comparing my work to others, that will also help the confidence issue.

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    Melissa Y says:

    In my personal life, I feel pretty confident in who I am and that people generally like me…that hasn’t transferred completely to my professional life…yet. I would say I’m generally around a 6 or 7 on a scale of 10 in my professional life. I still tend to hover around the….”I just love your images…..don’t you???? please say yes….” area. I also struggle with pricing. Although I feel my pricing is appropriate to low, for my area, I still quiver inside when I hear someone comment that I cost so much more than Wal-Mart. I know, I know, get a clue, but it still makes my knees a little weak, and I never know how to respond. I would love to have tools like these that would not only make me feel more confident, but make my business feel a little more professional from start to finish. What a fantastic giveaway!!

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    Cass says:

    My confidence is a 7. I’m very confident in my photography – presenting it, communicating about my process and then after the fact is where I’m not so strong. It’s difficult when you’re starting out.

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    Hm, I’d rate my confidence level at a 7. During the session, I feel great I have fun & I feel like my ability to connect to my client is awesome! Once I get a session proofed & sent off, I worry that for some reason the client won’t like them, even though I personally think the photos are great…I constantly second guess myself. That is something I need to work on, NOT second guessing myself!!

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    Elma says:

    My confidence is an 8. One thing that has really helped is knowing my gear, it’s strengths (sharpest apetures) and weaknesses. I practice different apetures and shutters speeds and read my manuals. This helps me quickly make choices at sessions as to what lens to use and how.

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    joy stclaire says:

    I have found that confidence is believing in myself – not looking to others to affirm me or my work. I am constantly striving to grow personally & professionally, as I feel the two go hand in hand. The confidence killer is comparing yourself to others – as you always seem to come up short! I had tended to compare myself to others who were in completely different situations – husband to help with expenses, more connections, more gear, more money, more education, etc. I have come to accept who & where I am, & that I do the best I can at the moment with what I have & am given! I look to my faith for support & to keep me going!

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    Leslie Perry says:

    Just posted a wall post on Facebook! Thanks for this awesome contest!

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    joy stclaire says:

    I have found that confidence is believing in myself – not looking to others to affirm me or my work. I am constantly striving to grow personally & professionally, as I feel the two go hand in hand. The confidence killer is comparing yourself to others – as you always seem to come up short! I had tended to compare myself to others who were in completely different situations – husband to help with expenses, more connections, more gear, more money, more education, etc. I have come to accept who & where I am, & that I do the best I can at the moment with what I have & am given! I look to my faith for support & to keep me going! I would rate my confidence at about an 8 today!

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    Amy Dungan says:

    I’d say my confidence is about a 6. I feel like I am so far from where I want to be, yet so far from where I started. I know that I improve each time I get out my camera and it helps to remind myself of that. I also like to go back and look at the evolution of my work. My biggest problem right now is feeling confident about my prices – feeling that I’m worth it. I’ve invested a lot of money, education, time and hard work into my business and I know I should feel confident in this area, but yet I don’t always. My plans are to continue to push myself to be my best and remind myself often that I’m always learning and growing.

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    Jenn S. says:

    I’m about a 7. I’m pretty confident in most aspects of my life. As long as I’m doing things in which I have control, I do fine. But, every so often, when I get stuck in thinking that someone else is in control (perceived or real) I start my “stinkin’ thinkin’” and worry that I’m doing whatever it is not good enough and of course my confidence sinks. I then try to catch it and talk myself out of the rut and remind myself that I’m doing my best and if need be, ask for help.

    Thanks for the give away!

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    Amy Dungan says:

    I tweeted, which also goes to facebook automatically! :)

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    Tanya says:

    My confidence is around a 7 . I am great with people but sometimes need more help with light control especially flash.

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    Lynette says:

    I am not a super confident person in general and I really struggled with this when starting my business, but I’ve learned to just be who I am, they hired me b/c they liked what they saw. Somehow, even though I’m not a talker and don’t like to normally initiate converstaion in social situations, I am able to interact with my clients at each session, like it’s something I do naturally. For me to increase my confidence from the 4 that I am now to something greater I’ve been just plugging along, it would be so easy for me to quit and move on to something more seclusive, but my choice to stay with it says a lot.

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    Ashley Larsen says:

    I would rate my confidence at a 6 while shooting, and much lower on the business end. I struggle with the monetary aspect of this business. I would definitely benefit from this give-away. crossing my fingers. thanks.

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    Johanna says:

    Wow…this is hard. I would rate myself at a 3 or 4. I just feel so lost and unsure of what to do. I am a baby just starting out and it seems I am a small tiny fish in a great big sea…which is often murky and misleading. I do feel confident (8) in relating to others. But I don’t feel confident at all in my abilities. I have so SO SO much to learn!

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    personally, my confidence level is typically 9 or 10. always been a confident person and i went into business with a strong determination to succeed. i’d say professionally i’m usually a 9-10 as well(of course we all have days when we doubt ourselves from time to time!). i LOVE people, i love my clients. i love talking to people. being confident that i can get along with just about anyone, it allows me to walk into each session and make them feel like we are old friends. i also say things during the whole session like “oh that is going to be a GREAT one!” or “ok, that is my favorite shot so far, BEAUTIFUL!!” and “you are so amazing!!” they get so excited about seeing their images. :)one tip is to find a great quote about confidence and/or success, and plaster it all over the place. write it on index cards and put one in your car, on your bathroom mirror, the fridge, near your computer, everywhere!! i love joyce’s work and her blog, thanks for the opportunity to win these awesome products!!

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    Confidence a 9. I know that my clients want to look their best, and feel fabulous during their shoot. I have learned to guide them more assertively in their choices so we can accomplish both. This has single handedly led to the most growth in my business in the last year. Now if I had some handy dandy Wordsmith guides to help me… the limitless possibilities (and time saved trying to lead).
    Great contest!!! Thanks Jodi and Wordsmith.

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    I would give my self an internal 7 or 8 on the confidence scale. But, when I am doing a shoot with a client I portray as much confidence as possible.

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    Alanna says:

    I think one needs confidence to have a successful photography business for sure. I would rate my confidence overall at 9 out of 10. My confidence has grown leaps and bounds in photography over the years. I think mostly through experience and ability in photography and I know my business is all the better for it. But I must admit putting it all into words on paper can be hard for me though. I would love to win this! My tip to anyone who lacks confidence is to increase your knowledge in photography.

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    Michelle says:

    Rate my Confidence: (depends on the day) but hovers around a 6. I’ve been working on that the past month though. I always try to present myself as CONFIDENT but it’s those inner thoughts that bring my number down a little. I have been working on creating a more professional brand (site/logo/products) which is helping me. I am changing my pricing to attract people who VALUE photography more… It’s really a process. But I find the more confident I get the more I attract people who are confident in me… and willing to pay and refer. :)

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    Melissa says:

    I would have to rate my confidence level at a 5. I have my moments where I feel good about what I do…but there are moments when I am scared to death.
    The worst time for me is when I am in edit mode and I am staring at the pictures. I second guess myself and pick apart each picture and go through a moment of panic that they may not like them. I know in the end this makes me a better photographer but it is not a good feeling.
    I am off to check out the Wordsmith website.

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    Carrie Vines says:

    I do enjoy meeting new people and feel pretty confident during the actual photo sessions (7 or 8 on the scale), but where I lack confidence is in the actual wording or phrasing of the sell, especially over the phone (I think I’m much better in person). I get excited when I get the call, but sometimes I sound too excited, which, I think, sounds desperate, not confident. What a perfect product for someone like me who sometimes has trouble finding the right words!

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    Well I would have to say that my confidence is a 6. I have had so many people ask me to take pictures for them and I teach darkroom photography at the local highschool. I believe that I am getting better very day at taking great photos and am improving on my posing and post processing. I am not confidence in means of selling myself. I have always been shy and timid approaching people, I have always waited for people to come to me. I really need to gain confidence in that area. Once people approach me then I am fine in my confidence to take quality pictures, but not a making the sale. I also need some help in my confidence of how to pose certain people and groups. So I would love to gain confidence and if these products could hellp that, I can see my business growing.

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    Here my bonus comment from my facebook – Are you confident? Do you lack confidence? Come share your thoughts on confidence at MCP Actions Blog @ http://tinyurl.com/mcp-wordsmith and have a chance to win $380 in WordSmith What to Wear, How to Sell, What to Write and How to Price Guides. I used what you gave.

    Also need to add I need help writing to clients and potenial clients.

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    Jody Gall says:

    Hmmmm, this is kind of tough. I would say anywhere from a 6-8. I am a very confident person. I’m even more confident when behind the camera. At least that is what I portray. I still have those ‘twangs’ of doubt….are my settings right?…how is my exposure?…boy that kid is fast!…etc. But I do my best and always portray confidence to the client. I do feel I need more confidence in the business aspects of photography. But that will come with time and learning. Things can only get better, gaining more experience, more knowledge, and of course, more confidence.

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    Cindy says:

    My level of confidence fluctuates from client to client. With clients who trust me and are relaxed, I feel like I do my best work and I rate around a 7 or 8. When I’m not comfortable with the situation or the client, my confidence level is about a 4, and I think my pictures show it. But this shows me that a lot my confidence is all in my mind, and I need to banish all those negative thoughts before and during a difficult shoot, sort of like how athletes envision themselves hitting a ball out of the park or crossing the finish line.

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    Cindy says:

    Bonus: I tweeted about the contest!

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    Elena says:

    My confidence depends on a day I am having artistically sometimes. There are days it is aroung 9 and then I have momoments where it is 5. There are moments I feel like only the sky is the limit and there are sessions when I feel like I am pulling teeth. When I feel inspired I come out with the best images and best sales with my clients. I make them feel like models. And, even when I am not too hot about the session, the client still walks away feeling like a superstar–I just do not let them know what is going on inside of me.

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    Elena says:

    Added this post to Twitter.

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    Elena says:

    added this post to facebook.

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    I am absolutely the low self-esteem girl aka TOTAL LACK OF CONFIDENCE when it comes to my personal life, BUT I have learned how to keep that in check and not let it show when it comes to my business. It can be difficult, considering that I have never had any schooling or formal training. But I know that dispite that my work is still really great! I find that the more confident I act the more that my clients trust me and the more AWESOME they think I am. At my wedding this week the bride was totally set on taking her bridal party pictures at her home but there was not one single spot that would work well and the lighting was awful. A few years ago I would have just kept my mouth shut because I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone or upset the bride, but now I have no problem asking them to walk 1/2 mile to the nearby park to take the photos. I know that even if they are upset at the moment that they won’t be when they see their pictures and they’ll thank me.
    It’s not easy, but the more you push yourself out of your comfort zone and pretend to be confident the faster the real confidence will set it!

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    Alisha Shaw says:

    My “outward” confidence is a 7-8 but my inner confidence is more around a 4-5. I too have great days and sessions that just work. Other days it’s a struggle and most of it has to do with me more than the client. If I am creating and seeing the vision of the moment, I definitely feel better. Other days feel like a crap shoot. Thanks for hosting these fun giveaways!

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    Allison says:

    I would definitely say I portray a different level of confidence towards clients – I would say outwardly it is about a 7 but on the inside I am about a 4. I think sometimes during a shoot I can find myself rushing and not getting the shots I want because my inward confidence is so low. I just bought the what to write guide last week and love it – I would love to have the other ones too. I think how to sell would help me the most – I think this is where I have the least amount of confidence. Thanks again for another great contest, Jodi!

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    Jennifer says:

    I believe confidence comes with experience. Otherwise you fake it ’til you make it. While there is always room for improvement, I’m realistic about where my abilities and talents are. I’d rate my confidence depending on my mood & the day at an 8.

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    Tina Harden says:

    OH man this is AWESOME! I couldn’t be more perfection timing. My confidence in my photography is an 8 but my business savvy and start up plans etc. would be about a 2. I’m so bad to de-value my product thinking thats what gets the sale so bad that I’m essentially paying the customer to us my product. I lack confidence in web and blogging that intimidates me too. My marketing skills suck to put it mildly. I’m overwhelmed by what I need to learn and where to go to learn it to improve all these skills. This looks like an awesome starting block. Thanks for the Opportunity!

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    I have some confidence issues. I would rate myself a 6/10. I really do need to work on it. Making sales confidently is an issue but more than that getting people to relax in front of the camera is my biggest problem. Reading Wordsmith’s post was an eye opener. I want to work on talking up my work and being more enthusiastic about it. I know it will work magic like she says. I am good at home getting people to be themselves. Believing I can do it with Anyone would help me at the workplace.

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    I feel like I’m probably a 4-5. If I take a few bad shots I get discouraged and seem to spiral from there. Plus, I still feel like I have so much to learn and envy people that can just pick this trade up in a quick amount of time. My work is getting better and now I’m not feeling bad for charging clients. I used to feel really guilty about charging people at all, I figured they could go out and buy a camera themselves and do the same thing I did. Now that I’ve realized what a skill this is, I understand why people pay good money for it. The article that you had on your website last week from the guest blogger REALLY helped me realize that I am taking valuable time away from my family and that I need to make it worth my while. So glad that was a topic.

    I love Joyce’s work, she is a huge inspiration to me and I’m thrilled that this is a giveaway!

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    Missy Joy says:

    I had a mentor once that told me that my confidence should be greater than my competence. Up to that point, I always felt that it was somehow wrong to project confidence even when I was still learning. He told me that in order to really learn and grow and take risks, I needed to step beyond where I felt my competencies lay and push into the unexplored. My confidence had to take me there. This opened up a whole new world to me. I found that if I had the confidence to reach out beyond my competence, I could create images that were new and fresh, out of the ordinary “safe” images that I had been creating. I’d say that my confidence is high – 8-9, and it’s just a challenge to keep it there, even when I’m doing work that pushes me beyond my competence :-)

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    Kathy says:

    I find it so interesting that most of us rate ourselves at an ‘average’ level of confidence. That includes myself! I have been working on building up my confidence by putting myself out there more, and being more proud of my work and not being afraid to shine! We all shine in different ways – that’s what makes us all so fabulous and we need to learn how to feel that way!

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    Allison says:

    Bonus – tweeted @allisonbosphoto

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    Carrie says:

    I rate my self at a 7 in photography and the technical side of things, but have a lot of room to grow into the sales side of my business with a 4. I have ideas and plans for marketing me and my business. But the sit down and sell part of it has me shaking in my boots. How do I share my excitement for my products so that my client will love them too?

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    Carrie says:

    I put it on facebook.

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    Christy says:

    Hmm, I think I’d rate myself about 6 or 7 in reality. On the outside I think I may seem more like an 8 or nine. One thing that makes a difference is whether I’m shooting the age group that I most enjoy. When I shoot families, my confidence drops, but when it’s little kids I feel on top of my game!

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    Brianna says:

    I would say my confidence level is about a 3. I have a hard time with upselling anything beyond an 8×10. I have all of these great products but I am unable to properly get that across to my clients. Trying to find a way to do that without sounding like a bad salesman is what I am working on right now.

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    Monica says:

    I feel I have enough confidence interact with others alright but know I need to boost it up a lot. I slowly more confident in my ability to capture the pictures I love but still worry about missing some special moments. Being new to the photography business, it is challenging to sell myself and my work to clients? I would rate my confidence around 6. I think it will grow with experience. Also, I know to be prepared. Check your gear and make sure you have everything you need. Have an idea of what you are going to shoot. Know as much as you can about the location and client before hand. If you are not sure of what to do look for ideas before you go out.

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    I would rate myself a 7.. I am confident when it comes to my commercial & fine art work that do not involve people but when I have to shoot portraits & groups I get a bit shy & none too confident in asking them to pose a certain way & when I don’t hear back right away after linking them to the proofs I get anxious & can’t help but think they might not like them or have changed their mind in ordering. I am also lacking in “business sense” & want to come off the pro I really am. Any guide such as this giveaway would be greatly appreciated!!!!!! Thank You!! :0)))

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    facebooked sample paragraph & linked! :0))

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    Sue Benson says:

    My confidence level is a 8. I believe that anything you put your heart and sould to it gives you confidence and I am very passionate about my life and work so confidence hasn’t been an issue for me for the most part. As a tip for others out there, create a life motto to live by and repeat it to yourself anytime you are feeling less than confident. My life motto is “It’s time to shine, don’t be afraid!”. It has worked wonders for me.

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    Bobbi-Jo G. says:

    Oh, my confidence level is probably somewhere around 5, which is an improvement for me. I’m confident in my interactions with my clients and with my creativity, but my lack of confidence comes more on the business side of things. I’m not a business-minded person, and it’s the part I’ve struggled with. Maybe something like this is just what I need. Thanks for the chance!

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    michelle says:

    confidence is everything. i think i first learned this in high school that the amount of confidence you have in yourself affects how people react to you. i have always been more confident at work rather than in a social setting. work is where i feel comfortable it also helps to know that i have the education to back me up on what i’m doing. photography is interesting in that sometimes you have to make a fool of yourself, get down low, get up high, lay on your back or tummy to get that perfect angle. and as long as you have confidence in what you are doing people will respond better since they trust that you are as confident with what you are doing as you seem to be. or act like you are and fool them. my confidence is about a 5. i try to act like i am confident but deep down i really am scared things will go wrong with a photo shoot or in my personal life. i plan on getting out there and continue to make a fool of myself as i take pictures because i want to get that amazing photo i know i can if i just get lower or make the stupidist face at a child to get that award winning smile.

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    michelle says:

    I blogged about this contest! Check it out: http://digitalphotograph-fun.blogspot.com/

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    Suzanne says:

    My confidence level changes from day to day. Some days I’m feeling really good and It’s at a 7, other days I’m at a 4 or 5. One thing I’m going to do to build confidence is take some classes on using flash and studio lighting. I really prefer the look and feel of natural light, but I want to be technically sound in all aspects of my photography. I am also in dire need of business education, I’m an art major. Another thing on my list. Thanks for the opportunity!

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    Silvina says:

    In my personal life I’m a pretty confident person although it took me 40 years to get there :) In my work, i have to say I’m still a work in progress. When i first started doing sessions for people, I actually called a couple of clients after their session to see if we could get out again for me to take more photos because I was sure I hadn’t gotten enough material…only to find out once i sat down to edit that I had PLENTY! I’m definitely getting better overtime, especially after seeing that my clients enjoy my work and actually spend their money on it. And I think presenting myself and my work confidently really increases the chance that a client will feel it’s worth it to invest in their photos. I have to say though, the first time one of my clients ordered a $1000 package from me over the phone i almost fell over! :)

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    Mallika says:

    i would rate my confidence about 6. i have a long way to go but have also come a long way. one area i am trying to improve is control of a shoot – trying to be more deliberate in my posing and shooting and really trusting my instinct. once i can do this, then the images look a ton better!

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    Allison says:

    What a great giveaway! I just started my photography business and these would come in very handy. I’d rate my confidence at a five on not-so-good days and a seven or so on good days. Outwardly, though, I try to project confidence that is a 10, and if I mess up I laugh through the discomfort. I guess that most of all, I’m learning to accept that I will make mistakes. There is no way I can create my own business from scratch and not mess up sometimes. Most of all, I try to remember that I have improved and will continue to improve. Instead of beating myself up, I try to learn and not make the same mistakes again.

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    Ally says:

    I would rate my confidence at about a 4. What I show to others is probably more like a 6 or 7. I really want to up both of those! I keep on thinking that after I have been in business for such and such a time my confidence will move up, but that length of time keeps getting longer and I realize that I have to be confident to get better and my confidence will not improve after so many jobs or compliments, etc.

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    Rachael Ice says:

    I would say my confidance is about a 4. I need to work on that BIG TIME! I worry so much about what people think of me and my work that I let it drive everything, including my business. I need to “keep the emotions” out of the business side of photography. I know my confidance will grow as I get more experience and learn more…and that cannot come quick enough. My desire is there 100% to be amazing…and to KNOW it! :)

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    Carol says:

    I really had to think about this before posting. I think my confidence in my work/during the session is an 8. BUT my confidence in the selling is a 2:( I have a hard time separating the sell from the art. I feel like if I sell too hard I am being boastful. I also have trouble approaching other business to partner with to display my images. I am trying to get out of my comfort zone and finally approached a Dr’s office and will be displaying many images there!

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    Carol says:

    Tweet tweet! @frecklefacefoto

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    Emily Ku says:

    I think my confidence in taking photos is perhaps a 4. I’m just starting out, and sometimes I pinch myself for not getting a shot that’s in sharp focus. Usually at first pass at my photos after a session, I critique myself and tell myself I should have done this and this. Then when I look at the pictures again a few days later and after all the editing is done, my confidence goes up and I really start to like my photos. I love this blogpost because I think this is a subject that really isn’t discussed much.

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    Allison says:

    I tweeted: @allynewcomer

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    Rachael Ice says:

    I tweet, tweet, tweeted! :)

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    Kelly says:

    I’d rate my confidence level at a 5. I question myself all the time – “am I really any good? should I even be doing this?” I get really nervous before I go do a shoot, worrying that the people won’t like them. I’ve been doing photography for 2 years, all self-taught. If I could just take a workshop where I had some instruction…….someone to say, “yes, you’ve got it!” I know that would help my confidence go way up. But, in the meantime, I’ll just keep practicing and hopefully someday I’ll get to where I want to be.

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    Holy cow. Those prizes ROCK. I would just DIE to win. Not really, but almost. ;) I think confidence plays a HUGE part in our ability to convey creativity and professionality to our clients. If we aren’t confident, how are we to make them feel comfortable? I think I’m very confident in my creative ability, but I still feel self conscious about my technical know how. I’m trying to watch tutorials, and practice my little heart out. :) I know just from a few months of practice I now shoot fully manual, which is a HUGE change. :) But it’s SO easy to look at blogs of others and get so down on myself. But, I know that I’ve grown so much already and can’t let other people’s great talent affect MY confidence. P.S I love all you do for the photographer community! You are awesome!

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    Missy says:

    Awesome prize! I could definitely use that myself!
    I’d rate myself at a 5. I don’t have an outgoing personality and I takes me a little bit to warm up. But I’ve really been going hard for 2 years and feel like I’ve improved so much. I get lots of people saying they love my style.

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    Like most of the others above, I rate my confidence at a 5. I’m just getting started and haven’t had the time nor the experience it takes to feel “certain” in what and how I do things. My plan for building it up? Keeping at it until I find that certainty.

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    I shared it on Facebook!

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    Alycia says:

    I have a hard time with the confidence thing too. When I’m around people I don’t know I’m much more confident than I am around my friends. I am relatively new to this, and it’s hard for me to all of a sudden say “Yes, I’m a photographer.” So I would say I’m at a 6 or 7 around people I don’t know, but still around a 3 or 4 around my friends, and maybe even lower than that around my photographer friends.

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    My general confidence in life would probably be at around 6 but varies depending on what I am doing. In new social situations it probably drops to a 4/5 and in my teaching day job jumps to a 7/8. Fortunately when I have a camera in my hands I forget all of my social inhibitions and just get on with the job. It is all of the aspects of building a photography business that have to be done without a camera in my hands that bring me undone! I question every decision I make to a ridiculous degree and then I start procrastinating. The prize would be an amazing kickstart for me so I could get out there confidently and fulfill my dream of launching my photography business as a full-time venture.

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    willowdawn says:

    I’d rate my confidence – today – at 8. I just received my copy of a book which has my images included in it! A real book. About the show Ace of Cakes! But it’s only an 8, because they are OLD images and I know I’ve gotten so much better since these images were taken – and I wish that my more recent work was in it instead. But it has caused me to look back and see just how far I’ve come. Comparing then to now is always a nice confidence booster. Oh and put on a great pair of boots. I love a great pair of boots.

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    Tanya says:

    I believe my confidence level to be somewhere around 7. I am confident in my ability to talk to people, no matter where I am, or what situation I am facing. I practice starting conversations with relative strangers. I enjoy giving another person a reason to smile, or giving them something to feel better about themselves. There isn’t much I love more than delivering an authentic, honest compliment – there is something good about everyone. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that instilling confidence and security in my subjects draws their spirits out and directly translates into images that my clients love.

    Where I need help is in feeling and behaving confidently about my technical skills as a photographer. I am VERY shaky on how to translate my skill into a solid price list that suits my market and still provides me a means to earn a living. I am told that I am underpricing myself, but I feel that my lack of experience in years means I should charge less.

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    I shared abut the contest on facebook

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    Tanya says:

    I TWEETED about this contest…what a great opportunity!
    -Tanya

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    Sandy says:

    REALLY great article – I absolutely think confidence is critical to business. I believe I am about a 7 – I am a confident person in general but I need a lot of affirmation to keep it going – especially in the photography area. Surrounding yourself with encouraging people is important but it’s even more important to be willing to believe the compliments you receive. Thanks for sharing this article – it was a great reminder. And amazing to see how many people struggle with confidence (myself included) – so it was definitely a useful article! Thanks!

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    Jessica G says:

    Great post/idea… confidence is something I struggle with a lot more on the inside than on the outside. That said, I would think my confidence level is around a 5. I love my work and the pictures I create, but I’ve had a hard time figuring out pricing that feels fair and find that too often I’m apologizing for the cost or handing out a ‘deal’. The blog post written recently was so perfect for someone like me. I plan on sitting down after the holidays to completely rework my pricing and have confidence that the price I choose is fair to me (most importantly!) and my clients.

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    I would rate my level of confidence at a 6. I feel confident in my ability to know what makes a good shot and to capture the essence of people. I lack confidence in my technical abilities. I am always worried if I have the right settings on or if I am messing up the exposure, etc…

    I play around a lot with the technical things with my son, so if I screw up, it isn’t on a client. I also need to start charging more in the next year so I can quit my day job. Need to feel confident enough that I will get business once I do. I need to continue to market myself and make every client very happy. Word of mouth has been good for me!

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    Amy Cameron says:

    I would rate my confidence a 6. I am not sure if that is accurate, but it is so much higher than it used to be. I think confidence is one of the most important factors that affect our relationships–personally and professionally. There was a time when I didn’t do many things because of my fear of failure. I am over a lot of that now but still struggle from time to time.

    My lack of confidence sometime keeps me from charging what I should. It keeps me from saying no to unreasonable requests. It keeps me in the background at times even when I feel I could get a great shot by being more “out there”. I plan to keep working on it. Realizing that I am not such a big deal helps (if that makes sense). I can focus on the big picture rather than tearing myself apart.

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    Loraine says:

    Like a lot of the other comments my confidence level depends on different situations. Inner confidence during a photo session is about 5-6 (slowly increased over the past year) and outer about 8. I end up missing or messing up shots and forgetting some that I planned. Wording is something I really struggle with, (I am not a writer) I sure would benefit from the WordSmith products. Great Contest!

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    Deborah says:

    Honestly, I have always had a problem with confidence, and it is something that I’ve been having to work on lately. I’d probably rate my confidence right now at a 6. I’m trying to start my photography business, and I’m such a perfectionist that I tend to get down on myself and start to think that I can’t do it. But my husband reminds me that confidence is going to be one of the most important things I need with a photography business. And he is right – who wants to pay someone to take their picture that has no self-confidence? I’m making a daily effort to not be so hard on myself, and maybe even if I have to fake it, one day I’ll be there!

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    Heather M. says:

    I’d say my confidence fluctuates daily. I often feel like it depends on the conditions surrounding a shoot or how I feel the images are turning out (or turned out). Overall, my confidence level is probably around a 5-6. I’d say it’s getting better as I learn more and continue to grow as a photographer. Something that gives me far more confidence is knowledge, which I continue to pursue.

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    Confidence: 6-7 but outwardly more like an 8… I have to remind myself to act confident sometimes, though.

    I’m an introvert and I like doing introverted things (reading, watching TV, doing laundry, yes, I do actually like doing laundry – it’s washing the dishes I just can’t handle!). I’m also a photographer & I love doing photography. So these 2 come into conflict sometimes, and one of my weaknesses can be interacting with clients, especially at the initial stages.

    Like is mentioned by several other posters, I think my prices are another area where I really need to grow my confidence (I’d give myself more like a 5 in this area). Pricing is just conflicting, because I wonder if people have the money for sessions & whether price raises will drive them away. But I do have to run a business, too.

    My confidence has grown immensely over the last year, but I’ve also been in situations over the last month that make me doubt myself. I think it will always be that way… hopefully the doubting times become more far apart as I learn more about photography, my skills, and my ability to work with others.

    And I’m so excited about this contest… crossing my fingers. : D

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    Tweeted: @GreenShoesPhoto

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    Tara Parker says:

    I think I would rate myself around a 3 or 4 on confidence. I am just getting started in the business of photography and am just starting to book my first paying clients. My get a lot of compliments on my photography but I am very critical of myself and have to make a big effort not to compare my work with those that have been doing this for years! I think once I am conisistently booking sessions through word of mouth, my confidence will grow because I will know that my past clients have passed my name on to their friends and family because they valued the work that I do or the experience that they had with me as a business owner. I also need to realize that clients don’t look at their pictures with the critical eye that I do, in the same way that I look at them. They don’t see white balance, or red skin tones, or cut off limbs. They see great smiles, pictures that capture how they were feeling, and captured memories of a time in their life that they would have otherwise lost if it were not captured on camera. Once I can consistently pound these thoughts into my head, I think my confidence will grow.

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    Tara Parker says:

    Tweeted: @simplysilver1

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    This is a timely article for me. I was just explaining to a friend that I lack the confidence I need to pursue my dream of becoming a professional photographer. She asked what I was going to do about it and that has led me to think long and hard. I realize that I need to practise, practise, practise, find my own unique style, update my blog, and not be so hard on myself. Photographing seniors is my favourite. This is a contest I would love to win!

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    antoinette barclay says:

    I would rate my confidence an 8 of 10. Many factors have contributed to this and the most prominent three being teaching kickboxing, teaching assertiveness and my husband. Teaching kiclboxing not only gave me the physcal fitness I desired but the confidence to feel like I really could handle myself if need be. Teaching assertiveness to other taught me more about being assertive instead of aggressive or non assertive behavior. I can articulate my needs and wants better than I used to be able to. My husband increases my confidence by his belief in me. Even when I am feeling nervous or uncertain, he truly believes I am capable ofdoing the things I set my mind to and supports me in any way he can. Without any of these three things, I would not be able to branch out to things that are not in my educational track or I would have given up on things that didn’t come as naturally.
    In taking photos – my confidence level dips a little because I have so much to learn and such a difficult time remembering what I learn. Although my children and nature have been my primary subjects, and I am not as good as my sister, I try. I know if I write things down, keep track of photos and settings, I will learn what I need.

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    Erica Young says:

    In my personal & professional life I am not very confident. So I would rate myself at a 4-5 maybe lower. I am a people person but the confidence is just not there. I’ve had my husband tell me many times that if people didn’t like my work, why are they calling you to schedule appts and buy your pictures. Even though he has told me this on many occasions I still don’t believe him. But once I get to a session for some reason I hold my head high and work my butt of to get those shots that I envisioned and to please my client. I do all my work out of my home and hold sessions on location. I wish I had a studio to be able to sell more of my work to my clients but right now it’s just not feasible. I just started my photography business but I’m hoping as time goes on my confidence will get bigger and I will believe in myself more.

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    antoinette barclay says:

    facebooked it! http://www.facebook.com/home.php

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    Juanita says:

    I would say my confidence level would be a 6. I am confident in the work I do but I sometimes have a hard time in being confident while interacting with clients. It’s an ongoing process and I am building my confidence more and more, one day at a time.

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    Gabby O. says:

    My confidence level is a 6. I feel very confident behind the lense. It’s the cliff hanger of how the client will react upon seeing their images that leaves me weak in the knees. Perhaps I am selling myself short here. I have the confidence to take the picture but feel like I am constantly revealing my darkest secret to clients again and again just waiting to hear critisism. It always works out perfectly, and after going through the same series of events time and time again, I am not so stressed out about it. My clients like my work, my eye and how I edit. If they didn’t, they would not have hired and paid me. I just have to learn how to own that.

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    Gabby O. says:

    Tweeted the giveaway! @monroefiles

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    Melissa says:

    I would say my confidence is probably a 7. It is so true that if you are confident your customer can tell. If I talk something up, my customers get excited about it (example Christmas cards, gallery wraps, etc.). Also, I am a people person so I really try to connect with my customers and do my best for their session to be enjoyable. I often pray for my customer before the shoot … especially for seniors. I want them to feel special & pretty (or handsome) when they are with me and later when they see their images. I look at it as their special time.

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    I would say I’m a 4-5. I just started a couple years ago and still have TONS to learn. I’ve booked 2 weddings for this next year and I feel like sometimes I’m not “good enough” or there are tons others out there… are my clients sure they don’t want them??” But, in the end, you know what… they chose me. And they must love my work or my personality (or both) and that’s why they chose me. So, I’m learning and I’m trying to gain more confidence… I really just need to keep at it and practice in my own time. I get compliments from peers, but when the compliments “go away” is when I feel vulnerable. These guides would be amazing! Hope I win! :)

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    I tweeted @meltonbritt

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    rachael says:

    it is so funny that you would post this question, since i have been spending time the past couple of weeks working on raising my level of confidence. it varies a lot. personally i would say that a good day can get as high as a 9 or 10, but a bad day somewhere around 4 or 5. prior to the past few weeks, professionally, i would have said that on a good day it is probably a 7 or 8, but on a bad day it can get as low as a 2 or 3. those levels + their variances enormously affect both my personal interactions and professional development, because if someone catches me on a bad day i am sure they walk away from the interaction wondering what it is they have done wrong or believing that i won’t be able to deliver the promised results. as a result, i end up holding myself back from success in life + work. the past few weeks i have been doing several things that have helped keep the level of confidence more stable + at a higher level. first, anytime i find myself getting down about anything i immediately start listing five things i am grateful for. they can be as small (or large) as i want them to be. second, i have stopped comparing my work to others. third, i am focusing on my future but doing the best with what i have in front of me. and so far these things seem to be working in my favor, because in the past week my professional confidence levels are much higher than they have been in months.

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    rachael says:

    i tweeted about the contest…@littlebites

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    Sarah Blair says:

    Such a fun question. I think my confidence level is about a 9, but in photography I would say 7. Mostly because it is still new to me and I am still learning. Maybe each year it will be an 8, but I will be learning forever won’t I? Hmmmm… I guess we will see.

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    Pam Davis says:

    I would like to begin with a thanks to Jodi for all the great contests and this prize would be THE GREATEST. My confidence has always needed a bit of a boost, but when I am in the groove and it is working for me and I am getting those images that just work I convey a 9 and I am able to sell the image that I believe presents the best. However, my business sense needs a boost I need a better plan and help with presentation. I would love the opportunity to win this. I also work as a nurse and being a health care provider to those with both substance abuse and mental health issues gives one plenty of opportunity to sharpen those confidence skills and it has really helped me with my photography skills also. Hope I win this!!!

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    i tweeted about it!! :)

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    Elli says:

    Hmmm…confidence level…I think I’m about a 4 in my own head, but I think I project more like an 8 or 9. I feel like I AM more confident if I ACT more confident. I am taking steps to market myself a little more aggressively – I let the “competition” intimidate me for a while – so I am finally seeing my business pick up a bit. I would really love to know how others overcome their confidence issues though. My husband tells me that I should stop doubting my abilities and just plow ahead!

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    Gina says:

    i have confidence because my clients believe in me. My confidence level is 8+ when I meet with my clients before a photoshoot and get to know them their tast & style.

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    Gina says:

    facebook comment sent…..a must read for anyone who is anyone… :)

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    heather says:

    I would rate my my confidence level at about a 5. I think mainly because I’m unsure of how to market myself. I know that I would like to appeal to seniors and families, but I’m not sure how to get out there. Today’s economy makes me feel like people aren’t interested. I want to be interesting. I want to be different and attract the business that’s out there. I also find myself not 100% confident when first meeting a client. I don’t feel prepared for whatever questions they may have, even though I have prepped myself. I need to work on a total intro package. After we’re into the shoot or if I already know the client then I’m much more open and comfortable. When I finally get into the shoot, I feel better giving the client direction. I just think that it’s going to take practice and research. I say research because it will help me be prepared with an answer for whatever question the customer may throw my direction. I know that I will need to work on my poise and confidence in new relationships and fostering existing relationships and stepping up and getting my name out there. Welcome packets, newsletters, blog consistently, effective website, return customer/referral program….I want my presence and confidence to put the client at ease and make their experience with me the best and not the last. Help me make myself memorable!

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    Jane Weston says:

    Generally I cruise along at a confidence level of about 6. Taking a deep breath, I put my confidence level up to an 8 to manage new situations, meeting people, and dealing with difficult situations. I’ve learned that the more confident you appear, the more others will relax and listen – as long as it’s done with smile! In life I like to surround myself with positive people, which is probably why I love photographing kids and new families. I’m new to the business side of photography but have a friend working in the field with me which I find invaluable, as the sharing of ideas, and the constructive feedback is a real confidence booster.

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    Amy Hoogstad says:

    I totally agree – you NEED confidence to get you where you want to be in this business. When you present yourself as a timid, you-can-walk-all-over-me kind of person, people will take advantage and also sense your insuperiority and fear. I also think there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. No one likes a braggert. I am confident that I know what I’m doing behind the camera, and even though I’m not in the business (yet), I’ve seen first hand that when I give people a little direction and encouragement, they relax in front of the camera. Having that confidence is the only way to get there with your subjects. I would rate myself at an 8, but only b/c I’m not in biz, so my photography is a whole lot more relaxed, plus there are no real expectations being set upon me. That DOES make a difference. The last two points will be when I master flash photography – then I know I can walk into any lighting situation and be confident I can get the images I want/need.

    My tip would be, if you are in business, you should KNOW what you’re doing. Don’t let your clients tell you how to take photos (you need their input, but only to a certain degree of course). Plan ahead as much as you can if you struggle with confidence (sketch out poses, make sure you know what your clients will be wearing, bring props, pre-visit locations, etc.).

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    Jacqueline says:

    I think my confidence is a 6. I have a lot to learn. I just started out this year, but I think my blog is true to my personality. I just need to get out there a little more.

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    Jacqueline says:

    I think my confidence is a 6. I have a lot to learn. I just started out this year, but I think my blog is true to my personality. I just need to get out there a little more.

    I just added my facebook update. http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/jacqueline.childress?ref=profile

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    Marci says:

    Confidence. Indirectly that has been on my mind lately. As I embark on a new adventure and start a photography business (even as I write this), I am constantly checking my confidence level. Will I be able to take photos that are top quality; will I find the right location, the right look, and the right light? Will there be 20-30 great photos? Mostly, I ask myself if I will find the right words to interact with a potential or current client. I was relieved to read Joyce Smith describe herself as someone who is not a salesperson or super charismatic. I feel very similar. I have a harder time selling myself and acting like I know what I am doing. This is where my confidence suffers and would rate myself as a 4 or 5. On the other hand, I would rate myself higher on my confidence level as a photographer – maybe a 7. I know that I can push myself and learn more. I look where I started and I see how far I have come. I know that I can keep learning and practicing. So as I focus on the interpersonal skills, I remember what I tell my 12-year old daughter as she struggles in middle school, you grow by doing hard stuff. By starting my own business I am pushing myself to become more confident with my interpersonal skills and my ability to sell myself. This contest itself has been helpful. It is insightful to read how other people view themselves and you realize that you are not the only one out there with insecurities. Thanks!

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    Kristen says:

    Hmmmm…I’d say my confidence is a 5+. :)Last year a 2, so this seems to be a big improvement. I had an “aha” moment recently when my husband told me that I needed to stop looking at my statements of “I still have so much to learn” as meaning “I’m not good now.” I have learned a lot, and each session I learn more. I’m never going to stop learning, if I do, I’m not striving to be the best photographer I can be. So realizing this has actually boosted my confidence. I know that if I don’t know how to do something, in time, I will, just not all at once. Patience, persistence, and practice!

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    Ashlee says:

    I agree with Elli! I think in my head I’m a 3 or 4, but my (pb) clients think that I have an 8 or 9! I always, always only see the flaws in my work. I almost never take a shot that I’m 100% happy with. It’s part of the reason I’m still floundering with making a decision to go pro. Despite building a healthy pb client base that are all very happy with my work, I’m not sure I can sell it. Despite my misgivings, I always appear bright, bubbly and proud of my work to clients since I want them to believe in it even if I’m not quite there yet. My plan to gain more confidence is to continue building my skill set and maybe letting go just a slight bit on my perfectionism criteria. Not that I don’t want my shots to be perfect, but they don’t have to be exactly perfect to be a great shot ya know?

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    Ashlee says:

    Also posted on Facebook!

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    Nancy says:

    It is amazing how much confidence affects everything – including how other people react to you and think about you. If I had more confidence with my photography work I would have lots more freedom to do crawl on the floor or ground to get a better angle and not feel self conscious! My confidence is getting better – probably up to 6 or so… Joyce Smith’s post the other day was really helpful. I particularly liked the part about getting excited about your work to clients, and not in a boasting manner. I often feel excited about the shots I get but for some reason thought it was childish to relay that to clients… I can see how limiting that is. Thanks – Nancy

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    Danielle says:

    I’ll give my confidence an 8.5. I am very confident talking to clients and I have a partner. We play off each other so well. This prize would certainly help me though!

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    Emily says:

    I think I have grown more confident in myself this year than I ever before. I never thought I would be good enough to take photos professionally. I certainly never thought that people would seek me out to take their photos. But even though it’s a nice affirmation, it hasn’t been the real reason behind my certainty. Growing confidence has been largely a matter of practice. When I’m feeling less-than-able, I know that it’s time for me go out and take photos. It doesn’t matter what they’re of or if anyone will see them. Knowing that I can pick up a camera, see a shot and take it is great practice and a huge boost to my confidence – it has truly given me the boldness to say “I am a photographer” and mean it. It translates to my interactions with clients and my vision for business and marketing, because I know deep down that I have the confidence to sell myself. I am a photographer.

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    Courtney says:

    Bonus tweet! (which also gets posted to my facebook). Extra bonus!?!

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    Courtney says:

    I feel that I’m a fairly confident person. Not overly confident (to the point of cocky or proud), but I also don’t shy away in a corner. So on a scale of 1-10, I’d say I’m probably about a 7. As far as my photography, I’m probably not confident enough. I’m not a professional in any sense, but I enjoy it as a hobby and would like to get into it more (maybe as an extra revenue source?). But I also feel that I’m not that great despite the praises I get from others. I’m working on being more grateful of compliments and putting myself out there more. If not for myself to bring others joy.

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    Jen Gentry says:

    I rate my confidence level at an 8. I think the area I need to work on is sessions with middle age kids. I go into those sessions thinking that I do not know how to relate to them as well, so I get nervous. I think on all the other sessions I do view my confidence is high. I research what the family wants, and found that speaking to my clients in person, or at least over the phone, before the shooting really helps to get to know them, and builds their confidence in you as well. I quickly learned the hard way, that with clients, if you don’t go into it confident, then they will take over the session, and that never ends well. You are the pro, not them. The minute they see weakness in you, they will jump in, and direct you. You have to learn to stand up for your ways of photographing, why you do it the way you do, and teach them, and make them listen to you as well. If you have a certain pose in mind, but go into it with “ummmm, well, kinda” then you will not put your clients at ease either, so to get the fun loving true laughter shots, you need to show confidence! The mom that thinks she knows what she is doing more than you is the hardest client ever, and the session you need to be the most confident in! When doing ordering sessions it’s the same thing. You have to be completely confident in your work and your products. The minute you second guess yourself is the minute your clients will start asking for discounts and specials. As much as we’d like to, we cannot give discounts all the time, it will portray that you are not confident in your work 100%. At a minimum, fake confidence until you get enough sessions and clients under your belt, but make sure with every shoot you take time to really study your photos. Learn what you did wrong, and teach yourself how to fix that next time. Take time to congratulate yourself for what you did do great! If you go into each new session knowing more and more on what you need to avoid and keep doing then you will be confident before you know it!!

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    Jen Gentry says:

    I tweeted about you! @JeniG

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    Heather Gill says:

    I would say that the older I get the more confident I get. I’m about an 8 depending on what it is. As my photography skills grow so does my confidence.
    Great contest! I might purchase these if I don’t win!

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    Heather Gill says:

    I also tweeted about this and posted on facebook.

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    Amy Sanford says:

    My confidence goes up and down all the time. I have been considering jumping with both feet into the photography business, but my confidence keeps me from doing it. I put my confidence with photography at a 5, but my skills with photoshop, I put at a 3 and my confidence in business I put at an 8. I’m the most confident when I’m in front of a customer with my camera in front of my face because I’m doing what I love and making people happy. There is just so much to learn.

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    My confidence level depends wholly on the vibe I get from my customers during the shoot. If they give me a so so vibe (confidence 5-6) then I am much much less confident in my work then with customers (confidence 8-9) who trust me completely. Even though the end product is the same I really feel worse about the whole experience when my customers give iffy vibes. I need to just get over it and be more confident myself without letting people dictate my emotions. Also, I used to be much more willing to turn down business when I get funky vibes then I am now. Maybe it’s time to start turning people away again. It worked well in the past.

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    Heidi K says:

    I would rate my confidence level at an 8. I feel very confident in myself and know that I can do my job very well but right before a shoot I tend to get nervous and fumble in the beginning. Usually after I warm up to the client and get a feel for their personality I am a full 10!
    I feel like the key to my success is personality. I try to find a connection with every client that I meet. When I am out on a photo shoot and someone has a dog I comment on how much I love my dogs and ask about their dog. Or I might compliment them on their home, admire their clothes or really just anything to make them feel more connected to me. I am easy to talk to and really love interacting with people. I guess that would be my confidence tip “connect with clients”.

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    Leah Savage says:

    My confidence level is on the rise both professionally and personally. I would put both of them at about an 8. Professionally, I feel that I have both the experience and technique to make it through most anything.
    Personally, I have just lost 55 lbs and still losing. Believe me, that has really boosted my confidence!
    Leah

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    Julie says:

    My confidence has definitely grown and even since I read the post yesterday, I have thought a lot about it. I would say I’m a 7 and I hate odd numbers!!! So to change that number I go back through my work and look at where I have come from and browse my favorite sessions and think “wow I am good!”

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    As a person my confidence in myself is pretty low and I tend to be very shy and meek. In my capabilities as a photographer I am pretty confident and on a shoot I’ve learned to direct them the way I want them to go. The problem is as a business woman I let my personal confidence issues get in the way and don’t pursue it out of fear, fear of what I really don’t know. I know it’s time to step it up and I plan to sit down and write out goals and figure out what it will take to get where I want to be.

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    Aurelie says:

    Like a lot of photographers out there, my confidence fluctuates all the time.
    I am a pretty shy person so it is difficult to sell myself to prospective clients and it is hard to get out of my shell when I photograph them, even though I know I can do a good job! I would rate my confidence at 4 in both my personal & professional life. I am trying to make a living with photography in a foreign country, start a business where I don’t have an extended network and where language can be a barrier. But I am trying little by little to use my quiet personality as an asset and sometimes, when I crack a joke in my fake australian accent, I feel pretty pleased about myself! I work on improving my images by looking at other photographers’ work and plan on attending workshops on branding & marketing to give me more confidence in dealing with prospective clients.

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    Terri says:

    Posted this on FB share yesterday!! Check it out!

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    Shelly LeBlanc says:

    The WordSmith products are beautiful, fun and very useful tools!!

    I think that I’m a 6 on the confidence scale business-wise. But, it’s my personal confidence 8.5-9 that carries me. I love that each session is a learning experience and my photography skills increase with each session. I’m not shy by nature and I love to interact with people on a one-to-one basis (although I don’t really like small talk). I have personal photographic style that I love and try to achieve at every session all the while worrying my client won’t like my style. The other facet with which I struggle is delivering only 15-25 stellar images to the client. I worry that because they heard the shutter click 90 times that they think they should have 80 images. I hope someday to be able to over-come these sticking points. It would greatly increase my ability to enjoy the session itself as well as the end result.

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    Jessica says:

    In school I was that kid that freaked out just having to give an answer to the class, I hated talking about myself and still do. Being a business owner this makes getting myself out there quite difficult, I’ve had instances where acquaintances have gone elsewhere because they didn’t know I offered the services they were looking for because I never told them. I consider myself great through e-mail and written word when I have the time to think about what I am saying (and the delete button) but I hate talking on the phone. I will admit that while my confidence could have easily been ranked as a 2 or 3 previously I would now say that it has grown to at least a 5 through the continued support of my peers, clients and family. They keep telling me how great I am and I guess I finally started to believe them :)

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    Jessica says:

    Also tweeted – @limepeels

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    Shelly LeBlanc says:

    Blogged and FB’d. LOVE THESE PRODUCTS…the more I look, the more I love. It might be my next ‘must have’.

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    Dawn C says:

    i think confidence makes all the difference int he world. the clients can feel it if you think you arent going to get the shot. i think its especially important when working with small children. You have to be sure that you are going to get the smile. I am also a pediatric physical therapist and you have to gain the kids trust very quickly. they can sense when you arent sure! thanks for hte awesome giveaway!

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    Erin says:

    When I started working as a contracted assistant wedding photographer my confidence, both personal & professional, was very low. I had just finished graduate school, found a job, and within two years realized that I was headed down the wrong path. Luckily, a photography class that I took (just for fun) grew into a job when my instructor asked me to work for him. I left my job and haven’t looked back. The experience of growing from an assistant to lead photographer helped me get on the right track and bring my confidence level to 3 – a good starting place. My abilities and comfort in a new field were budding. During that time, I decided to experiment in child/family photography and found my passion. My first eureka moment occurred when the daughter of my very first client (also my first newborn shoot) celebrated her first birthday. Seeing a child grow in front of me, from newborn to 1 year old, solidified my commitment in this newfound career and skyrocketed my confidence to 6. Buoyed by an insatiable thirst for knowledge, I began reading books on business, marketing, and communication. From the Carnegie classics to Dane Sanders and Seth Godin (next on my list), I can’t seem to put them down. I follow several blogs, and every day that I read something new I can feel my confidence incrementally growing. That’s just how my brain works – I research, then act. My research has, so far, brought me to a 7 (I’m still just getting started!) but I’m anxiously anticipating the moment when I hit 8. That’s when I’ve decided to act on my dreams of officially starting my own business!! My constant professional growth has mirrored itself beautifully in my personal life, a connection that spurs me on like nothing else can. I am one of the lucky ones. My interests, values, and (growing) abilities have come together in one job, and my personal confidence now soars.

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    Mama B says:

    I would rate my confidence at a 2 or 3. I lack the time and materials to really be where I want to be, and I have oh-so-much to learn. Challenge is a good thing right. I just need to have the vision and put effort forth to get there.

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    I would say my confidence level is somewhere around a 5 (she says more as a question than a statement). I absolutely love what I do. I love to see people get excited about their photos. I sometimes feel as though I am “faking it until I make it” with my business. This is my first year offically as a paid photographer and I still get very unsure about myself. I had a conversation with a friend the other day and told her that I still get very nervous before and during each shoot and she couldn’t believe it. She said she never would have known and didn’t really understand why. I think for me, I see so many other photographers that are so much better than me and they appear to really have it all together…and I just don’t. My plan for making myself feel more confident…I think the more sessions I do the more confidence I will have. I also am trying to piece together some posing guides for myself because this seems to be the area that freaks me out the most on a shoot.I also have plans to attend some workshops in the next year.

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    Yay for a bonus comment! I tweeted! :) I REALLLLLY want to win. :)

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    Kathleen says:

    I think my confidence is at about a 6 maybe 7. I know I have a long way to go before I’m great, but I feel like I’m on the right path. My photography isn’t perfect and never will be, but I love what I’m doing. I continue to think about where I’ll be in 4 years from now. That is what drives me. Each session I do makes me more confident because each one teaches me so much.

    By the wya I have How to sell, and it is great. I have had my eyes on the others.

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    Lisa says:

    My confidence sucks – Like, I’m a two or three.

    What I’m doing: I just bought new clothes. Okay, I bought new clothes twice. The first time around I got all classy and business-y, maybe even a little stuffy. I told my husband how I don’t really feel all that comfortable like that, but that I wanted to quit looking like a bum. I guess I thought that classy was the only way to go. He reminded me that I’m an artist first, business woman second, and it’s okay for an artist-businesswoman to dress like an artist instead of dressing like a businesswoman. So I went back out and bought some clothes that were more funky – more like me, but without the “bum” look I’d been sporting. I’m MUCH more comfortable with this middle ground, and I feel like if I can present MYSELF at photoshoots and client meetings, then I won’t feel like I have to pretend to be someone I’m not, because my clothes are helping to tell them my style.

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    Sha says:

    I would say that I have a different confidence levels. Personally, I’d say it’s around a 4. I’m getting a whole lot better though. I’ve always been shy, but by doing the work that I do it makes it easier to come out of my shell and that is crossing over into my personal life.
    Professionally, my confindence level is at least an 8. I’ve been photography people for 10 years (only 3 years on my own) and yes, at first it was hard because I am a shy person. Don’t get me wrong I’m still nervous, like one of the girls above me stated, before every shoot. I’m always afraid I’ll mess up some how another, I mean, these are people’s very own memories that we’re making. It’s stressful. But as soon as I meet my customers for the first time, it’s like I’ve known them for years. Something in me clicks and it just happens. I think that to make the best photos of someone you need to be able to capture their true self and if you can’t interact with them on a very personal level, then you can’t acheive that. Some customers have questioned me about shots and afterwards they’re like “wow, I didn’t think that would have turned out like that”! While others let you do pretty much what you want without any question at all. And it’s because they’re different and we have to adapt to that. And that is what makes my confindence better in my professional world. It is so easy for me to adapt to someone. I don’t know what it is about me, but people open up around me. Which makes it easy for me to open up around them. I guess it’s because I reallly do LOVE what I do and maybe that shows! I would, however, like to work on my editing skills and learn more about the camera. I don’t think you can ever know enough. I would love to be as awesome as some of the photographers I’ve seen. But it’s all a work in progress. I’ve got so very much to learn! And I’d like to improve my blog and website as much as possible!

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    Judy says:

    Hmm. I think internally my confidence level varies quite a bit. There is always some anxiousness going into shoots for me. I usually feel about a 5 before the shoot. I think about everything that I am convinced will go wrong and have a hard time until I start shooting, when most of what I have been worried about doesn’t happen. Then I am into it and my confidence shoots up anywhere to 7-10, depending on how it’s going. Editing usually brings me back down a bit, as I am still trying to find my style with post-processing. But when I am presenting my images to the client I can fake a 10, all the way. I know it’s important for the client to feel that my images are ‘have-to-haves’, and that I play a crucial role there. And then I am always nervous delivering the final products. Will they find some minuscule flaw that I overlooked? Will they wonder why that one image isn’t tack-sharp? Then when they don’t do either of those things and are gushing over their images I always feel great again. :) I just try to remember that my clients hire me because they love my work and want that for their families.

    More confidence will come as I get better at more technically advanced shooting, lighting conditions and post processing.

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    Sarah says:

    I rate my confidence at about 3. This has been a really rough year for me and I’ve had a lot of stuff knock me down.I’m working on starting my photography business, and my lack of confidence is making it hard. Sometimes it is hard for me to get up in the morning. And yes, I probably am suffering from depression as well. So obviously the first thing is that I am going to find a therapist and work on my depression. When you need help, get it. It doesn’t provide any benefit to avoid your problems. Second, in my previous job, my customer service was top tier. People respected me, appreciated me, and I delivered outstanding customer service. I don’t have a bubbly personality, and I’m on the shy side, but I’m focusing on my customer service background–bringing that to my photography experience to differentiate me from my competitors.

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    Sarah says:

    Bonus: I tweeted about the contest. :)

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    Barb says:

    My confidence, both personal and business, are at about an 8. I think it just comes from experience (I turn 40 tomorrow) and also letting go of the worry about what other people are thinking. I think that last bit is my biggest tip… stop worrying about what the people around you are thinking, ‘cuz you are probably wrong. And even if you’re right, they’re thinking it because of their own insecurities. Why is my confidence level not higher, then? Well, because I haven’t completely let go of it… I have this issue with being overweight and what other people think about it that’s been drilled into me since I was young, so I’m working on that. And with business – I’ve only been in business for a little over a year and haven’t really got the word out, so I’m not YET completely confident. Soon, though… I know it! :D

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    Barb says:

    I decided to try for the bonus entry, and tweeted it, too. My username is meant2beamom :)

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    Des Smock says:

    What a terrific article – so timely with photographers feeling the crunch of many new photographers entering the business. Confidence is so key – confidence in your art, your vision and what you have to offer both in products and customer service. Luckily for me, I have moved so many times in my life, (I had 13 elementary schools!) I learned how to make friends easily. I would give myself a 10 in confidence EXCEPT that I still have to garner the courage to stand behind the prices of a boutique photography business. People wise – not shy AT all – but I don’t have the hours to give to a full-time photography business and sometimes that hold me back in some ways (being pulled in many directions). I think I will overcome this as my business continues to evolve.

    So a tip that helps me go into every session with confidence – I believe strongly that my art, custom portrait photography, is a gift – to me, yes, but more importantly to the people I share it with. When I go to a session, I try to think of what I am giving back to this person or family. I learned from a great book called ‘The World’s Greatest Salesman (Og Mandino), that to be successful, you must truly love the people you serve. It also helps to love what you are creating, to shoot and edit with love (for the subject and for the process). This gives me utmost confidence that even though I may not technically get everything right, ultimately I will be offering my clients what they want most in life, to remember who they are and what they love.

    Des

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    Alice says:

    This is such a timely post for me I can’t even tell you! Confidence is something I have struggled with all my life and I feel like I am finally getting a handle on it. Most of my life I would say it was a 3-4, but over the past couple of years it has risen to a 7-8. That isn’t to say that I don’t struggle with self doubt on some level daily, but I’m working on asking myself why I have that doubt and if it is warranted. Usually it is just me playing a dialog out of habit.

    My passion for photography and launching my business along with becoming a mother to a little girl has inspired me even more to work on this. I truly believe that I am my brand and if I’m not confident in myself and what I do I will never achieve the goals and dreams I have set forth for myself in my business. More importantly though, I want my daughter to have a mother who is an example of the kind of woman to aspire to be, not avoid becoming.

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    Jolene says:

    Confident? Hmm? Personally hands down, no questions asked 10!! I have everything a husband who has stood behind me and pushed me to pursue my dreams, a son, my “Sour Patch” kid who is the TRUE inspiration behind my business! Professionally, well that has to be a 7 and I am strecthing here giving myself a little extra since I a decided to participate in this contest! I am rating myself a 7 because I have always been very confident with myself, a people person, can realte with almost anyone! I will reach and approach anyone and ask them what they love what they want to capture/cherish! I truly love what I do! I feel that it shows in my work but I have just started out in the business I find that since I enjoy what I do so much I want others to be able to enjoy their works of “ART” it pains me to put a price on something that is so precious as a childs smile! So I lack in the business/marketing area but I am reading and searching and find every resource out there to help! These guides would be a true blessing!!

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    Melissa says:

    I would say that I’m at about a 5 somedays more somedays less. I am very confident in some things, (interacting with people, professionalism, general eye for seeing things) and much less so in other areas (basically anything to do with the business end of things or shooting in a brand new location). The problem that I run into is that when I am down on myself about one thing, others follow. :(

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    Ellen says:

    Confidence is so important in photography. I’m getting more confident in my photography style (yea!), but still need work when it comes to giving clients direction (clothing, selling, etc.) – which is why these guides look so great! So a 5 overall, maybe?

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    Jessica O. says:

    On a scale from 1 to 10 I think my confidence sits at an 8. If I am not confident in myself and my skills I usually stay away from putting myself in those situations. A lot of times my confidence in my business and people skills outshines my photography skills. :0)

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    kim smith says:

    I think that my confidence level probably varies. I am a new photographer with a new photography business. I feel like on the business side of things I am like a 6 or 7, I have a great handle on how I want the business to go and great ideas and energy but need some help tweaking thing and coming up with a overall feel or image for the business and to also perk up my blog posts and business written materials. My confidence level with the way my sessions are run and overall composition of my photographer is again at the 6-7 range. I often hear that clients are having fun and that the composition, poses and ideas are creative and fun but believe that I need some help with keeping up to date and learning how to take chances on new poses, how to pose differently so that all my sessions do not look idential. My confidence level as far as the camera equipment is probably more around a 3. I can always see my “vision” with the shot and don’t always know how to get there and I am easily frustrated when I think I took the greatest shot and get to the computer and find out its out of focus or some other outside influence has ruined my perfect shot. My confidence level at photo editing and post processing is constantly changing because with MCP actions, tutorials and classes I seem to learn something new almost every day. Right now I feel that is about a 5 so much more I can learn about it but every session seems to get a little better and I would like to jump out of my comfort zone and learn how to do so really fun post editing. What a great exercise for me to do today to think about the areas I am good and think out plans to get even better and to admit the areas I need help in and how to attack those! Thanks Jodi for this opportunity and thanks for all you do!!!

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    Andi says:

    What a great contest and opportunity. Thanks! Confidence is based on so many factors, and I’ve found that truly finding an inner peace has helped me so much in that outer confidence. That and announcing just a little way into a session, “We just nailed that shot!!” That one comment seems to free up families, moms, teens, whoever to relax for the rest of the time we have together. After that commment I think I’m able to relax and to project a higher confidence to clients, too, maybe a 9? (Even though it might not be quite that high on the inside?!)

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    Jenn says:

    I posted to my facebook profile what you suggested (guess I’m a bit lazy :)

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    Alysha S says:

    Wow, that looks awesome! Those guides would help me SO much :) As for my rating, I’d say I’m around a 4 but have moments where I’m higher. The times where I’m feeling higher on the confidence scale I find that I interact with people better, I’m happier and when I’m taking photos, they just turn out better. It makes me want to be at that higher “rating” all the time. I’m a shy person so I have to push myself to meet people and to be more out going. I’m working on it daily and learning as much as I can about many aspects of photography so that I can feel confident in what I do. My confidence helps not only me , but the people I’m taking photos of. They seem more at ease and that helps the photos turn out even better :)

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    Tami says:

    I’ve always had issues with my confidence but honestly since I’ve started taking my photography more serious my confidence has risen both personally and professionally. I know I still have a lot to learn about photography but I am very happy with where my business and I am at right now. It’s a great feeling! If I had to rate my confidence I’d say it’s an 8.

    By the way, I have Joyce’s how to sell and I LOVE IT!!!

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    8 you can’t go wrong with an 8 no matter what you are comparing yourself to!!! Confidence has and will always be something most people struggle with. I think it has more to do with comfort and fear of the unknown. I started a new job recently and I would say that my cofidence was again, an 8 but I was nervous and unsure about how everything was going to unfold. I knew I could do it. I felt sure about that but all those unknowns kept getting in the way.

    I am new to the pro photo world. Trying, just like alot of people, to start out in this business. I keep my day job and eat, sleep and drink photography the rest of the time. I know with all my heart that I have the eye and the talent to make great pictures but I am lacking in skill, knowledge and experience. But the only way to get better is to learn, share, experience and most of all LOVE what you do!

    Bottom line…..if you LOVE IT then they will LOVE IT and if they LOVE IT, it will be that much easier to sell!

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    Shannon says:

    I would say my confidence is about a five — I am very shy and hang back == I know I need to translate my confidence in what I do to business, but that is so much easier said then done. I would love to win these guides — I have heard they are FANTASTIC!!!

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    My ability to interact with others I would say is 9 or so, because I’ve always been a people person and that is one of the reasons I love photography besides my passion for it; the ability to interact with all kinds of different people. My ability as a business owner and conducting a business however is something low like a 4 or 5. I’d love for it to be a 9 also but I need to learn so many things before it can ever come close. I’m not confident enough yet in my business sense, I change prices to suit other people’s needs, my prices aren’t even that high but I’m still not confident in the price. I need to learn more about how to run a business and with that hopefully learn the confidence I need to successfully run a business. I may be young starting a business but I don’t want that to set the standards for my business.

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    We’re a team, even if I don’t pick up the camera, so both our personalities come into play – especially when it comes to confidence. Daniel suffers from what I consider the “traditional artists’ complex”. It might not be fair, it might not be right – but it is what I have experienced over the 10 years we’ve been together. Daniel sees himself either as god amongst men, or, most often, the lowliest worm that ever dared crawl the earth. Middle ground escapes him.

    My childhood was filled with huge amounts of positive optimism – so much so I’m almost convinced I could take over the world. We balance each other out nicely, him pulling me back into a version closer to reality, and me forever boosting him out of the depths. So while I tell you we’re a combined “6″ on the confidence scale, Daniel will follow through with his ever trusty “3″.

    Daniel will also tell you that his lower level of confidence makes him work harder, dig deeper. That it pushes him. That it makes his art crisper, cleaner. I’d tell you that his confidence level keeps him approachable; he listens to his clients, he pays attention to what they don’t say, he takes his time, and he over performs to ensure he gets it right. He doesn’t take anyone or any one shot for granted.

    I take most of the initial customer calls, peppy and happy. Daniel follows up in person – relaxed, and easygoing. Daniel doesn’t talk money with our clients. We’d end up owing them. I wish he could comfortably talk to clients, just like I’d love to be able to pick up the camera, but I’m a big-picture girl, a hit-the-high-spots girl, and would never last in the painstaking art of photography. Thank goodness we have each other.

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    Johanna says:

    I twittered about it! http://twitter.com/jkburleson/status/5081256921

    and I follow you on twitter.

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    I’m all over the board. Seriously! I will be a nice high 7, almost an 8 and go a Woot! Woot! I nailed the shoot – and then I’ll get an email from a random person with so much venom that will tell me to get out while I have the chance and I slide down to a 4, but that week alone I’ll book 4 sessions and I’m back up again! Looking at other amazing photographers and ‘wishing I could do that pose’ brings me to a level 5, but I’m working on it and every day I keep booking a new client, so I can’t be too off the track! I’m very interested in all of Joyce’s – How to Sell is right is what I need!

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    Karen says:

    I’d say my confidence is about a 4 or 5. I think I have some until I see what others are doing and start comparing myself! Thankfully I can see progress from when I started and I know that time will produce better resutls as I am patient in my learning process.

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    Valerie says:

    Hi Jodi, I guess I would have to rate my confidence level at a 6. I have been shooting for 10 years and absolutely cannot live without photography in my life. I am an artist at heart and soul and therefore a control freak/perfectionist. My husband tells me that I have a cycle after every shoot. I am at first ecstatic to get them in the computer and look at my work, then over the next couple of days I rehearse the “I’m a hack” speech, next I start to make the images mine in the editing process and by the end of it all I have found my love again and all is right in my (and my husband’s) world.
    I am building confidence by “cyberstalking” all of my favorite photographers via websites and blogs and studying what it is I love so much about their work (lighting technique, framing, photoshop manipulations, etc). Then I practice until I have found their secret and make it my own with my personal style. I have absolutely come to believe that in selling my product I am selling myself and without confidence in myself (ie my product) no one is buying. I am extroverted and interact well with others, but am trying to find the line between too friendly and professionalism. I am a horrible liar but right now I am working on the “fake it till you make it” mentality :) I do believe with the right level of confidence my business will soar.

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    Heidi Trejo says:

    My confidence is probably a 6 or 7. I am getting better though. I try to get out on a photo shoot and just focus on the family or client and put my own insecurities behind me. I notice when I am not confident my pictures don’t turn out as well.

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    Sarah Permeh says:

    Confidence.

    Confidence has been a long, curvy road that I am constantly traveling down. Right now, I am confident that I can be successful at photography. It’s the day-to-day confidence that gets to me. Being in a small market, having strong local competition, and self-doubt can often cloud my confidence. It’s only human. :) I’m only human. I can’t be the best. What is the best, anyways? Art is subjective, right?

    When I find myself stuck in a negative thought pattern that is shaking my confidence, I ask myself a few things.

    1) Am I being true to myself as a photographer? Am I shooting what I am passionate about?
    2) What are my goals as a photographer? How am I going to get there?
    3) What do *I* define as success? Am I on track to get there?

    After evaluating these things, I take a few days to digest what my answers and thoughts are. Sometimes, I can’t define what these answers are unless my confidence has been shaken a bit. When that happens, I totally have to remind myself that it’s okay… it’s all a part of the process. Without fail, clarity (along with it’s twin, confidence)show up in no time.

    I think it is important to stay true to who I am. Having confidence is easier when you are yourself… flaws and all. When you embrace who you are (and who you aren’t, as a photographer AND a person) you seem confident even when you don’t feel it.

    And with that, I am off to answer some questions… lol. Cause I am sitting at about a 6 on the confidence scale, and I want to be at a 10.

    :) ♥ Sarah

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    Lauren Aves says:

    I started off with about a 2 in confidence. At 21, I would not expect anyone to spend much on my photography or to take me seriously as an artist or as a businessperson. I would turn red and my hands and voice would even shake when showing my work to a prospective client for the first time. It was terrifying; like a new slew of job interviews every week. I didn’t know how to NOT be nervous, and I didn’t know if my uncontrollable fear would ever be cured.

    But over the last six years, our business has changed. Mostly, I believe, due to our confidence in ourselves and our work. The confidence that we (my husband and I) ARE very good photographers, and that we ARE worth it. The moment things turned around was when we moved in to our new studio loft. The first time we watched our wedding slideshow with a new client, I thought “I didn’t turn red!” The next time, I didn’t feel as self-conscious as the last. Little by little, my nervousness turned into willingness to open up and share my true talent with people. Now when I watch a wedding slideshow through my client’s eyes, instead of feeling like I’m naked on a stage, I feel proud. Like, “I did that. I photographed that wedding and it looks amazing. No one else could ever photograph it the same way that I did.”

    My tip: build up your skill set. Learn to be better. Focus on being the best photographer or whatever you do, and your confidence will follow because you won’t be faking it anymore. I don’t have a number for the confidence that I feel now, but I do know that it is no longer the awful “2″ that it used to be. :)

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    Yvonne says:

    I am not a timid person by nature and would rate my confidence at around a 6 for my photography skills. I’m never afraid of an approaching photography shoot but sometimes “kick” myself for the little things that I did not notice until I’ve uploaded the pictures on my computer. I think that communication with the client is key to building my confidence about what they are looking for in their photos. The “wordsmith” product is a perfect bridge to a strong communication with the people that are being photographed! Thanks for bringing this package of booklets to my attention. I’ll definitely be checking out their website!

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    Maureen says:

    I would rate my confidence low a 3 – and I know it is one of my biggest issues. I find that I think way too often, I don’t want to bother people – gotta get over that.

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    Maureen says:

    psted a link on Face book

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    Maureen says:

    another post to twitter.

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    Courtney says:

    I’d rate my confidence as about an 8 personally and 5 professionally. I feel very confident interacting with clients, making them feel comfortable but I always feel like i could be MUCH better at the ‘business’ side of things. however i have the confidence that in 2010 i will do it, i am confidentially planning for the BEST year yet – the confidence in all things will start to gel and hopefully i will be an 8 in both personal and professional come December :) ohhhh how i hope to win. crossing my fingers :)

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    abbey says:

    I think confidence is so important!!! If you don’t have confidence in yourself why would a client have confidence in you!! I think I am about a 6-7 on the confidence scale of 1-10! I hope to improve on that by continuing to shoot, study, and learn!!

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    Lindsay Horn says:

    I also think my confidence varies from client to client … I think I still lack confidence in my ability to CONSISTENTLY produce good results. I get nervous about new situations and I’m very hard on myself. I now wait a couple of days before even looking at a session because I find that a couple of days away from it gives me a more objective eye. I would love to win this prize!!!

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    Shay says:

    As a photographer who is just getting my feet wet into the process I often feel intimated by my customers who I know have used high end photographers. It seems like if I know that haven’t used what who I consider to be a quality photographer it isn’t a big deal, as contradictory as that sounds. When i’m in the middle of a shoot and doing my best to get all the adjustments on the camera correct and making sure the subjects are in the frame without broccoli in their teeth I am enjoying it. The problem happens about 5 minutes after I leave the session and start worrying if everything is IN focus…did I blow everything out at a bright outdoor session..the list goes on. I do hope the more I refine my ability and learn and learn and learn more about the process that this will greatly improve my confidence even after I turn to the off switch on the camera.

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    I think it is so important to be confident in your work. If you are not people are not going to see the value in your art. If you dont value your art, why should they? No wonder what level you are on you should always value your work. Im finally to a level where i feel pretty confident. I would rate myself around an 8. There are things i still want to work on but i feel confident at where I stand and I feel confident in my work. I think the biggest tip i could give people is to believe in themselves. There are so many great photographers out there we need to realize that everyone is at a different level and not get discouraged but inspired! These guides are amazing though!!!! Perfect for what I need!

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    My confidence level of my own work isn’t where it should be. I’m actually a natural-born seller. I’ve worked retail management for most my adult life, and am quite good at it. So why is it when it comes to my own business, I can’t sell myself, like I can sell other people? I’m at about a 7, wish it were an 11. It’s always a bit scary letting people know about my wonderful talent. I think I need to make it not so personal (although most my heart and soul goes into my images). What I need to do is get excited about my work, and let it show in my face and actions. Not be afraid to let my true self shine thru. One thing that I’m going to do to build my business and confidence, is value my work more, so that in turn, my work will seem more valuable to the customer. No more free sittings- how valuable is something that you got for free? Put a price tag on it, and the perceived thought is wow! I’ve got to have this! Another thing I plan on doing at the time of the sitting, is presume that the customer will totally love their images, so why not talk about the higher priced items that I offer? If I let them know what’s available, and create a certain excitement of owning that item, I think that they would be more open to make those purchases. My plan is to create a “get it now” atmosphere, instead of dragging out the sale, letting weeks go by before having the client make up their minds on ordering. Let the first impulse of the first viewing to influence their buying urges. The “I want it all” at first sight vs. the “I only need this” a few weeks later.
    What it all boils down to is the corny, “Dream it, Believe it, Achieve it!” I’ve got the dream part down, now I just need to do some more believing in myself. Ranking myself at 7, going to achieve an 11!

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    Hmmmm… I rate myself with a 5. I believe I come across with confidence to clients, but inside it is wavering…more than wavering.
    I have been known to throw up before a session i get so worked up over it and i sit there questioning why i do this to myself. But then it is over and I loved every minute of it.
    I have to school myself not to cut myself down in front of clients and belittle myself – bad rapport, but so easy to do. But I have definitely improved – maybe I am a 6 and a half…
    I do find the more confident I come across the more at ease the clients are and it goes smoother. I just have to remind myself that THEY hired ME, so they like what I do. I get so hung up on the ‘what if they don’t like this’mentality I will hold back. But now i try to go with my gut and just do what I feel will look best and it always pays off.
    enough rambling…
    I hope I win!!!!

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    Alicia says:

    My confidence varies between shoots. Sometimes I am really excited and confident other times I am scared to death I think it just depends on how I feel about the particular client and situation. If I feel comfortable with them and their personality it usually goes really smooth. I think confidence is the most important factor in having a photography business (besides your talent) If you dont believe in yourself why should others!

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    MegganB says:

    This is a very tough question for me. I guess I would rate my confidence at an average 4. Personally it’s a little higher and professionally it’s a little lower. I feel I am able to capture pictures that I like (I’m not confident that I LOVE them every time). I certainly don’t feel confident in selling myself to my clients. I occasionally feel like a doormat for clients that ask too much of me. Not all the time but pushy people tend to push me around and I shouldn’t budge but I do. I need to have a more effective business plan and ability to communicate that to clients – I think this package would certainly get me on my way there. Thanks for this inspiring contest!

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    Alicia says:

    facebook linked!!

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    I’d probably give myself a 7. I have come far since I first started my business but I definately still have more growing to do. :)

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    Charlene Hardy says:

    My confidence level really depends on the day. It is ever changing in response to my environment and actions. It is something that I am working on.

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    Kinsey Holt says:

    Like a lot of other commenters, my confidence varies. Right before a shoot I get wicked butterflies and have a slight panic attack, worrying about how I’ll interact with clients or how the photos will turn out. My confidence in these situations is about a 4. Sometimes when I look at other photographer’s blogs, I think “What am I doing?? I’m not good enough to take anybody’s picture!” Or, I upload all the photos after a shoot and there’s a would-have-been amazing shot but the focus is just slightly off or the lighting could have been better. That’s a 3 or 4.

    Other times I feel more like a 7, where I realize I’m not ‘there’ yet, but I have confidence that if I keep at it, I will someday get ‘there.’ After a few photos, I get into the shoot and the butterflies and panic goes away and I’m confident again. I do love interacting with clients and making them feel like they’re the most attractive people alive. Making my clients feel confident gives me confidence.

    Once in awhile, I’ll get images that just ‘click’ and make me feel like a 9. I still realize I’m not the best photographer in the world, but I know I am working my way to be better.

    So, that’s me – here’s hoping! :)

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    Confidence in my photography is something I have struggled with, and even just a few months ago, I would have rated my confidence at a 5. But finally, I have been realizing that my photography is something valuable and unique – not something to be given away for free. I realize that when I project confidence and value in my work, then my clients do the same. Right now, I feel about a 7, but I try to project a level 9 in my confidence and professionalism. Joyce’s guides would surely help me along this path.

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    [...] CONTEST: $1900 worth of Prizes – WordSmith Guides to Help Your … [...]

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    nicoleb says:

    Others have told me for some time that I have a ‘talent’ and I should go into business; but that very ‘talent’ is something I always struggle with. To date I have yet to let a client down; but that doesn’t mean I am not terrified that it will not happen. So, I guess in a round about way…confidence for me is something I always struggle with; and most likely always will. All that said, I would rate myself at a four. My reasoning being I am confident I will get great shots; but I go into every session with fear and worry that this will be the one I fail at.

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    Jen White says:

    I would rate my confidence about a 3/4. It’s pretty bad!! I’m always worried people will not like my work, and therefore never charge a sitting fee. Only for prints! That way if they don’t like anything, then they aren’t out any money. I’ve always gotten orders though so that boosts my confidence a tad! I guess I really should stop worrying what people think so much.

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    Claire says:

    Before I realized I really wanted to get into photography my confidence level was atleast an 8. This was just taking family pictures with a p&s. My family would tell me how good I was. Then I found the true meaning of being a photographer and the hard work that is put into it. I found ILP and posted my first picture and thought that I knew what I was doing until I received CC. WOW!! My level immediatly dropped to a 1. I did not realize how much was involved. Not only do you take the pictures but you spend hours editing them. I found a group of people that have really built my confidence back up again. I am definatly not an 8 but I feel that I am much higher than a 1. I know that I still have alot of work to do to become a 10 but I know it will be well worth it. I have met alot of new friends and exellant photographers along my journey and am looking forward to learning what it takes to be just like them. I am going to say that my level is about a 4 now but definatly working its way up. Advice- practice, practice, practice.

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    Melinda says:

    Confidence level – 4 or 5 although some of that may be chalked up to perfectionism. I have no problems interacting with my clients and getting those shots that they love; but when it comes to selling myself or my products…well, that is just not something I do. I have a hard time just saying “thank you” when compliments are payed and then I absolutely hate pushing myself and my business on people. I haven’t quite figured out a way to overcome this yet.

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    Tj Aneca says:

    I would probably rate myself a solid 7.5 on the confidence scale. I feel that I am a pretty confident person. I was an extremely painful shy girl until I was married. Having kids and starting my business has forced me to come out of my shell. Photography is something that I LOVE and I had to get out there. Photography has helped me overcome some of my “shyness”. Just opening up my mouth and talking to people. Striking up a convo while waiting for my munchkins to get out of school. At least we have something in common……our kidlets. I also get my confindence from my hubby, who I call Awesome! He is well……AWESOME! All in all, I still have a ways to go but the more I talk the more confident I become.

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    Amy Durham says:

    Wow. What a perfect time to ask myself these questions! I feel like I’m an overall confident person (say a 6-7), but lack the ability to really make it show when it comes to business. I’ve never been one to market myself, thinking that somehow there was something contrived about that — that I shouldn’t have to solicit praise. But I realize I need to stop thinking of it that way, and realize that there’s nothing fake about being confident in what you do and the person you are. I love the interaction with clients and the actual session itself goes extremely well…it’s the “sale” that I get anxious about and I know it shows. It’s frustrating because I want the complete package. The quality of my work can only take me so far and then my words and actions (i.e. confidence) need to match it. Thanks, Joyce, for a great excerpt that reminded me of how important it is to always keep this in mind!

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    Brittany says:

    I would say I have a confidence level of about a 7. I’m past being fearful or doubtful of my abilities, because I KNOW I’m talented and I know that I couldn’t live my life doing anything else… well, I could, but I would be miserable. I find myself talking about my art more, which is a definite sign that I am more comfortable. I was always raised to believe that if you weren’t a doctor, lawyer or astrophysicist, then you weren’t much of anything. Oh the years I wasted fighting that mentality! Now, I can move forward with confidence and this is definitely reflected with how I interact with others, because I don’t really walk away wishing I would’ve done this and that, because I was bold enough to do it the first time. That being said, I gave myself a 7 because I know I still have things to learn and room to grow, which is great, because it keeps my mind renewed and my heart passionate. Win-win.

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    wow, what a great post, great product, and great contest! you know, confidence is both my enemy and my friend as a businesswoman and photographer, i think! on the one hand, i nit-pick myself to death, often to my detriment, and i think it can impede my ability to really follow through with becoming better at technical things as well as inhibit my creative flow. sometimes i’ll see something awesomely great and it makes me feel like “man, i’ve got so far to go” and it almost makes me feel too depleted to really let loose and get creative! on the other hand, i have a desperate need for affirmation that i think drives me to give more and more satisfaction to a client. if i can funnel that into pursuing happy, satisfied sales and customers, it has done me good! i think more than anything i plan to use that desire to give me energy to pursue more technical and artistic skill and freedom and to pursue bigger sales!

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    Cyndi says:

    Hmm, I think in confidence on my work and dealing with people business wise I’m probably about a 5? I really have to fake that I’m more confident than I really am. I get tongue tied when clients call and try not to say something stupid, lol.

    What an awesome give away :)

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    Nataly H. says:

    This is a hard topic for me…but something I’m working on. I think I’m barely at a 5 or so with confidence. Sadly, I think I have let a lot of things get to me since graduating from university 5 years ago (with honors) and thinking that was the end of my many accomplishments. I have since been happily married and have (almost) 4 children of my own, and I find that I have to rebuild that confidence in myself and in the work that I do. I am slowly starting to build up the confidence I believe I once had…in myself and in my abilities. I’m a true advocate of “fake it until you make it.”

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    Leah says:

    Oh I really, really, really want this!! I feel that I have a healthy level of confidence on the front end but seem to loose that confidence when it comes to selling at the end. Despite the fact that I’ve always had high sales jobs before this. Somehow, I can’t seem to transfer it over? I don’t want to come across push and somehow that translates into weakness. Before I sold someone else’s product, now I’m trying to sell myself and it turns out thats a lot harder! I’d rate myself a 5… I really want to be a 10!

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    Heather says:

    My confidence level is about a 5. I am in the VERY beginning stages of my business – I’m building my portfolio and getting experience. I want to be a 10, but I think I will slowly gain confidence as I go. Assertiveness with strangers is my weakness. Obviously that will need to change!

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    Jenna says:

    Wow. This would be a GREAT gift! I would say that I am working towards a 10 but am hanging out around a 4 or 5 in confidence. I feel less confident because I am not trained in photography but a self starter. I always cringe when people ask if this is what I went to school for. For some reason I feel like I am less of a photographer because I didn’t. And when it comes to selling on product, well I’m probably a 0. I don’t like “pushing” people to buy anything and just feel as though they will buy what they want to. I need a LOT of help in that area! But I love what I do and I really want to make my business profitable. I am determined to not give up and to grow grow grow grow!! :)

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    Courtney DeLaura says:

    Facebooked – Peachtree Studio

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    Jenna says:

    facebooked a link!

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    I would rate my confidence as a 4. I know that I can take great pictures (why else would clients keep coming back?) but I am shy about “advertising” my business. I am afraid of not meeting peoples expectations. I plan on improving this by stepping out of my comfort box and mentioning my business to others, especially if the topic of photography comes up. Because I’m still new to this it will take time to build up my business.

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    Christie says:

    Confidence is my biggest problem. I would probably rate my confidence a 4 on the ten point scale. I don’t value my own work. I know that and am working on it. But it is hard for me. I look at what everybody else is doing and see how far I need to go rather than how far I have come. Posts like this really help though. I am going to print it out and tape it to my wall as a constant reminder! Thanks for the amazing post!

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    Sarah Michels says:

    I would rate my confidence at a 3. I am still new to photography and am working on learning the ropes. I can take some good pictures of my daughter but don’t feel that I am anywhere near ready to take pictures of other people. I am also trying to learn the post processing thing and am really struggling with it. There is so much more to learn than what you think. But slowly everyday I feel like my practice is paying off and eventually I will get there…just not as fast as I would like. But nothing great comes easy!

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    Emily Dobson says:

    Confidence: 7
    When I first started shooting professionally earlier this year, I was confident in my ability to become a good photographer. My determinative personality was an asset as I studied and applied what I learned. My confidence grew little by little within the first couple of months as my photos turned out better than expected (for a beginner), and people started pursuing my services. A couple of months into the world a photography, I took a huge blow to my level of confidence when a fellow photographer told me I was a harsh person. While I was completely astonished by this level of honesty, I thought to myself, ” ‘Harsh’ will never succeed in the world of photography.” At that point, I made a committment to myself and my futuer business that “harsh” would never get in the way of my success. I began praying. I asked God to help me love others as Jesus did, to enjoy meeting new people, to be extremely friendly and kind… I asked that everyone would be drawn to me, or rather, drawn to Christ through me. Even now, I continue to pray and ask God to provide me with these qualities and to give me oppportunities, through photography, to impact the world for Him. Because of God’s grace and faithfulness, my confidence has grown. My photographic skills are improving. I am able to attend sessions and weddings with the confidence I need to execute good photo techniques and create good images. My confidence is still lacking in sales, and at times I second guess my images; however, I know that I don’t have to photograph alone. God, in all his grace and mercy, is willing to help me succeed and build confidence if I serve Him and keep my priorities in check. Maybe one day, He’ll make me a 10…

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    Emily Dobson says:

    Thanks for this amazing giveaway! I shared this contest on facebook!

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    Confidence (or the appearance of confidence) is so important, in photography and in life. I’m a firm believer in “fake it till you make it though’ and sometimes at the start of a session or wedding, I truly am quaking inside, but as long as I’m cool, calm, collected and confident (are those the four C’s?) my clients are good. If I don’t act like I know what I’m doing, no matter what, they get uncomfortable, and it shows in the pictures. In front of clients I work to project confidence whether I feel it or not. On my own though – I’m much more likely to fall prey to confidence zappers, and to listen to the voices in my head that try to leach me of that feeling. Overall, I would rate my confidence in my technical skills pretty high, but my business confidence quite low – leaving me at no more than a 6 overall, and I do think that this has a negative impact on my ability to be successful. It’s gotta change, and 2010 is going to be my year. I’m starting to read business books and soak in knowledge. I’m going to invest in branding and pulling my client presence together to attract my target market. I’m purchasing studio management software to help me get organized. I need to pull all the outside stuff together so that I feel confident on the inside.

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    Marci says:

    I think my confidence level varies depending on how the session went and the results. I also agree with a lot of what Emily wrote (about God being involved in my work.) When I am blown away by some of the images created by people’s interaction~ a look, a hug, a smile in which you can hear them laugh… when it reveals their spirit and how God sees them, then my confidence ranks up there around an 8. When I realize I missed the mark or didn’t quite ‘get’ the right images I was envisioning, it’s more like a 5 or 6. Thanks for offering the contest~ looks like a huge time saver and confidence booster to be able to share with clients how to be best prepared for their session! Off to twitter! http://twitter.com/mycirclephotos

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    Shellie says:

    My confidence level in my personal life seems to be in line with the same for my professional life. I tend to be quite confident in personal relationships and about my technical ability with regard to photography, but the part where I feel like I lack confidence is related to dealing with clients. I sometimes do not have the confidence to stick to my policies or be firm when I need to be. I have at times allowed a client to make/bend the rules and I’ve gone along with that. I know I need improvement there–I need to make sure that I am the captain of this ship. I need to stop being afraid of alienating clients over policies or pricing–really, if they won’t follow my business policies and pricing (that I’ve put in place for good reason after much thought and research) then maybe they’re not my client. I’d rate my overall confidence at a 7-8 due to this shortcoming but I know that being firm and sticking to my policies without feeling the need to justify my decisions is the key to improving in this area.

    http://twitter.com/serenitypics
    http://www.facebook.com/serenitypictures

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    Adalia says:

    I rate my confidence as a 4. This definitely makes it difficult for me to sell myself to others and limits me in how much business I feel I can take. I think that others have alot more confidence in me as a photographer than I do. I would love to improve my confidence, and I plan on more practicing & getting better with more experience.

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    I’d have to rate my confidence level while taking pics about an 8.5, and confidence in the quality of the product I offer is a solid 9, but when it comes to selling it’d only be about a 5. When it’s time to sell, I know my stuff is good, I know my prices are actually still too low, but knowing that I’m not one of the “big two” photogs, I feel like I’m being lumped in with the small-sitting-fee-gets-you-a-full-CD type amateur photogs in the area. And while I don’t think I’m in that category at all, it’s hard to compete when people hear about those other photogs. I just need to believe more in myself and convince everyone else that my work is worth what I know it’s worth

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    check the tweet! @xanderswanson

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    Pam says:

    Since I’ve been doing this for a while, I would have to rate my confidence at an 8 because there is always room for improvement. I do need to improve my writing skills. I think that is where my confidence is about a 5. I don’t have a plan for that, well, I didn’t until you introduced this segment!
    I am always comfortable with people while I’m shooting. For children, I always do my homework ahead of time by asking questions to the parent who books. What are the child’s favorite toys or characters is one. Then I talk to the child about that while shooting. When I do weddings I always go to the rehersal and get everyone’s names straight. If you show you care enough to remember them all by name, you get much better response and cooperation from them (the wedding party).
    I don’t do face-to-face sales, but am thinking of changing that. I will probably need some confidence boosting in that department, but I’m working on a plan of selecting what are MY favorites and showing those first.
    Hope this might be of some help to others.

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    Courtney says:

    i tweeted a link as well.
    love this contest. love the question you’ve asked. it really makes me reflect. lack of confidence just means I need to practice/get better – so i am more confident :)

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    Tiffany says:

    I’d rate my confidence at 5-6. I act more confident than I really am. I’m subscribing to the fake it until you make it method. But, I think just faking the confidence makes it appear that I am more confident that I actually am.

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    Brooke says:

    Oh boy, moment of truth! I would say both personally and professionally my confidence level rates about a 2 or 3. I’ve never mastered the art of acting more confident than I feel. And I’ve been told that my lack of confidence is written all over my face. I’ve always had an over-achiever attitude. I was a straight A student in school, graduated with honors from college, and always received stellar reviews when I worked in corporate America. Yet I still never truly believed in what I was producing. I’ve read many a self-help books ont he subject. If I could take a magic pill to boost my confidence to a 10, I would in a heart beat. I know that the next logical step I need to take is to seek out a professional to coach me through this. I know that in order to be happy with myself and my work, I need to be confident in myself.

    Thank you for featuring Joyce here!

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    My confidence level varies depending on what I am shooting. for portraits its about a 7. I feel my eye for composition is there and my interaction is there esp with getting the kids to loosen up. I need more work on my posing though. For dance, my confidence is a strong 9 pushing 10. I have alot of experience in this area and understand lines and timing so I always get the shot.

    I definitely feel that you have to exude a certain level of confidence with your clients. you have to project of surity in your ability and what you have to offer. If you don’t believe in yourself, your work and your offerings, then the customers wont either. Although, you have to be careful not to cross the line into conceit.

    Additionally, if you are not confident, you will not do as well in the shoot. You will be shy tentative and very dull. Being confident allows for more creative flow and being able to think outside the box and push your limits and the envelope to ensure you are giving the client the very best you can! They will also sense this fear in your dealings and can make it uncomfortable or difficult direct the shoot.

    You want to give them a sense of comfort in choosing you as the one to capture these moments in time, these possible family heirlooms.

    Lastly, if you are doing an inperson sales consult, you have to whole heartedly believe in the images you are selling. Otherwise that sale will be crap.

    So confidence, or lack of it, can impact you at every step in the process with a client, from the first consult til the end sale.

    I am going to keep playing with people to work on my posing more. Finding guinea pigs to use. Give them a free print for their time.

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    FACEBOOK:

    Brian Mengini
    Photographers… how confident are you? Do you lack confidence? How do you deal with either and how do they impact your business? Come share your thoughts on confidence at MCP Actions
    Blog @ http://tinyurl.com/winguides and have a chance to win $3…80 in
    WordSmith What to Wear, How to Sell, What to Write and How to Price
    Guides.Read More
    CONTEST: $1,900 worth of Prizes – WordSmith Guides to Help Your Photography Business | MCP Actions B
    Source: tinyurl.com
    Yesterday Joyce Smith shared on the MCP Blog about the important role of confidence in having a successful photography business. Now it is your
    2 seconds ago · Comment · Like / Unlike · Share

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    Tara Brooks says:

    I would probably rate my confidence at about a 4. My husband and family would say that I’d rate myself lower. I don’t know how many times I walk away from a job and tell them I did horrible or wasn’t happy with it, then it’s so hard for me to move on to the next thing. My ability to communicate with people probably appears to that I am more confident in myself then I really am. I’ve struggled with this in everything I’ve done. I have to research constantly before I go on a “photo shoot” and then once I’m there I always feel like I need to hurry when I have that dad that doesn’t appear to be interested. Or a senior guy who really is only having his pictures done because mom wants him too. I feel like if I had more confidence, I would direct the show more and not worry about what they are thinking.

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    Stefanie says:

    My confidence level is low – probably around a 3 or 4. Even though I have a degree in photography, it’s been a while since I’ve practiced the craft and even when my clients are thrilled with their photos, I am often unsatisfied and wonder if my work really measures up. Also, because I am just getting started in my business, I am very unsure of myself when it comes to the business aspects, ie workflow, product offerings, and client relations. I hope that with continued practice, my confidence will increase. I am also attending workshops and trainings on the various aspects of the photography business. I think that winning the Wordsmith prize would be a huge boost to me when it comes to knowing what to say to my clients. Thanks, Jodi for all of your fabulous offerings and for your desire to help all of us improve our craft!

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    I would rate my confidence level at an overall 7. I would say in dealing with people I am a 9 but in having confidence with my work I am a 5…and simply because I KNOW I can get better. While my work is o.k, and good some of the time…it could be GREAT most of the time.

    I believe having confidence in working with people is a huge part of being a professional. I read somewhere that when people hire you its because they like what you do and they believe in you and what your doing (even if you don’t). I think its very important to be relaxed with people, talk to them, be personable. Ask about them and their lives (simple surface questions so it doesn’t seem like your nosy. If they want to get more personal they will…you’ll be able to tell). Talk to the kids (if your doing families) ask about them, what they like to do..get them to open up to you. I often find that if A little kid enjoys doing something I do and I tell them in an excited way “Oh my gosh, I love playing basketball…who is your favorite team”…you have created a bond with them. Find this bond in all your clients…it helps them relax…and it helps you relax.

    The downfall to being so personable is I find a lot of my clients become friends…and its hard for me not to what to give stuff away to my friends. Like lower priced CD’s and prints. Whats a photographer to do???

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    Melanie says:

    What an awesome competition!! I would say my confidence in about a 5, but this does change depending on the situation. I am trying very hard to “fake it till you make it” because I am sure that I am my own worst enemy when it comes to my confidence levels. I sometimes doubt my own abilities and selling is not a strong point of mine. I am working on improving both of these, I set myself mini goals in regards to the selling, I try to meet a $ amount for clients orders or see if I can get them to order a particular product. In regards to doubting my own abilities, I use positive affirmations and having good feedback from clients also helps. I know that the more confident I appear the more comfortable the client feels and this also helps to get relaxed natural portraits from my clients.

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    Wow, this is a look at yourself in the mirror moment.
    okay if I think about this too much for grammatical errors or sentence structure I won’t get to the meat of this question.
    Level of confidence in personal life.
    This is hard. I would say that in my marriage I have a solid 10 not because our marriage is perfect because its far from it. But because I have confidence in my marriage. I am a mil spouse and without that confidence I would not be able to push thru all the times I find myself being only half of a whole. My DH is gone on avg 200+ days per year so it takes a lot of confidence to know your marriage is going to make it thru all the sacrifices we make as a couple.
    As a mother I’m all over the place on your scale there are days I’m a solid 9 because your child comes up to you and says “Mami you are my Lovie” and then there are those days where I have 3 children sick, have been thrown up on more then twice in one hour and I am exhausted from being up all night those days I can give myself a 2. Then of course I have to step into my DH shoes when he’s gone. He does the Daddy job a lot better then me and I don’t measure up to that.
    ME, myself and I I would give us a 7 because after so many years of not following my dream I am grabbing the bull by the horns and I’m not letting go. I have always wanted to be an Artist. I have chosen photography to be my medium. I’m a creative person but tech savy I’m as dumb as a box of rocks. So I guess this starts the answer to part 2
    Professional confidence
    I would have to say my confidence level is a 4. I’m new and I have so much to learn. I spend endless hours researching at night and when the babies are napping so that I can become the photographer I see in my mind’s eye. I am taking online workshops, going to photography group meetings and endless internet surfing. I’ve been blessed along the way on this journey to have fellow photographers share their knowledge and provide advice. At the moment I am also working on finding who I am as a photographer what type of branding, how will I present myself to my clients, what is the best customer service I can provide for them, how can I capture the true essence of the moment and how to have a productive business.
    With the Wordsmith package I will be able to cover those areas that I need to grow at because in the end no matter how much I love photography I am also a business woman and that too has to have the same attention to detail as the photography part.

    Thank you for your time and for this opportunity to have a mirror moment with myself.
    Take care ~ DB

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    Bonus! I commented on FB about this awesome program! Sharing the blog love! Take care~ DB

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    Charlie says:

    Oh my goodness hasn’t this question about confidence brought some memories and feeling to the surface! I can still see my old school reports. “Charlie has the ability..just lacks the confidence in herself” and “Charlie needs more confidence” Has my confidence level increased over the years? I would say yes. Is my confidence level stable?I would say NO. It doesn’t take much for it to plummet.Do I work on building my confidence levels?Daily!How do I do this?1.Try not to be so harsh on oneself..in regards to photography I have a goal to be professional one day and its great to be critical of ones work, but its also wonderful to look for the positives and see how far I have grown.2. Trying to come to terms with the fact that its a competitive market and sometimes people say things that are in their best interests not mine and not let this impede my confidence levels.I have a goal and there is no limit to what one can achieve if you put your mind and soul into it. Working daily on my confidence levels will help me achieve this goal. If I portray to to future customers that I am confident in my abilities then they will be confident in my products too.
    Thankyou Charlie.
    I have twittered:
    http://twitter.com/charlen49

  383. 383
    Wendy says:

    Confidence building! I have ups and downs, like when I lost a catalog in Lightroom because I accidentally unplugged the power strip thinking it was the lamp, or up when I get compliments on my work. I think most of the time I’m at 7. I’m new in my photography business and reading and talking to everyone I can to get up and going. I know I can do it! Posting to my Facebook:
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/profile.php?id=1655552323&ref=profile

  384. 384
    mahina says:

    confidence is my biggest hinderance. i am not yet in business, but will be once my life settles. i tend to be on the shy side and not always sure what to say, but i am improving quite a bit. i have a great eye for photography, but am still learning the best settings for all the different types of lighting and shots, etc. as i gain more confidence in my ability to interact with others i know i will be able to succeed. it is a process. i would say that my confidence level is at about a 5 right now.

  385. 385
    tara says:

    i’d say the your confidence level goes hand in hand with your comfort level. i think when you are confident in your skills at finding the “sweet light” with your camera/settings – well, when you get that, it all just falls into place. you’re more comfortable with your style, your camera, directing your sessions, standing your ground, etc. the more confident you are, the better your photography.

    the “confidence factor” for me is around 6 or so. i would be a much higher number for interaction if it was just with the kiddos that i photograph b/c i love silliness and playing around with them – that part comes naturally for me. however, when it comes to the parents, i am working on speaking up at the photo sessions about things like “mom, just wander over there and let me have a bit of time with them”. it seems that when the moms hover, the kids get nervous and i see it but don’t speak strongly enough to get them to scoot. then i regret it when i am proofing the images. the best sessions images for me happen when the mom is busy with another sibling while i am one-on-one with the other.

    so as my skills have gotten better, my style is coming out because i am not scrambling just to get the sweet camera settings. now i am more apt to “direct the session” more than before and it appears the clients appreciate the direction after all. huh, go figure.

  386. 386
    amy little says:

    Confidence. Yea, that is a HUGE part of this job. I absolutely feel that you have to believe in yourself or this field could very easily take a very stressful turn in your life. I have spent the last 6 months fluttering in and out of feeling confident. It’s one of those things that can be as hard to hold as a moonbeam. It’s something that I am constantly working on.

    One of the things i have found that can either help or seriously hurt is when I spend my time comparing myself to others. If I consider what i’m looking at as inspiration, then I am motivated to push myself to be better. The downside, however, is when i spend my time comparing myself to others. This is not a good plan. When I start to do this, and tell myself that I’m not as good as_____ then my self confidence drops off the radar. My husband and I jokingly (or not so jokingly) refer to this as the “10:15 Meltdown”. The nights I spend looking at other people’s work and judging mine in a negative light, usually end in a breakdown at 10:15 and he spends the next hour+ pepping me back up.

    Which leads me to my next tip. GO TO BED! There is nothing worse for creativity levels than being overtired. It’s totally a confidence sucker. And when that happens, it absolutely affects my skill. I’m not as peppy with my clients, I start to dread my sessions instead of being giddy about them, my stress levels shoot through the roof, and I second guess all of my instincts which is what my clients hire me for. Bad combo.

    The last big tip i have is to pray. I truly believe that we are given certain gifts to help and change the world. And my best way to tap into this, especially when i’m insecure, is to pray for help. It’s such a good reminder for me to know that I am capable, and talented, and worth it in the eyes of someone who loves me unconditionally and believes in me no matter what.

    So, trust yourself, give your self a “you-can-do-it” pep talk before working, stop blog hopping for awhile, pray if your a praying type (and maybe even if you’re not), and get some sleep.

    On that note, I would say my current level of confidence is about a 8.5. But ask me tonight at 10:15 :)

  387. 387
    amy little says:

    i also twatted (love that word!) @amylittlephotog

  388. 388

    I feel like I am very much lacking the confidence that I need to become a “real” photographer. I do find, however, that the more I educate myself, the better I feel about my talent and I think it shows. But, ugh, I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like I have it all together!

    These guides look utterly fabulous. Just sayin’. :)

  389. 389

    Hmmm. I think this business is mostly about confidence. Your photography can be so-so, but if in your mind you ROCK, then it will show in your confidence. Once I decided i was in a happy place with my photography, others did too. It also helped me be more creative without worrying about what others thought.
    So, I give my confidence level an 8, and give you this advice…..convince yourself that your the B-O-M-B…act like it (not a jerk, just bomb-diggity) and others will follow suite!
    Smiles,
    Danielle

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