Courage Is Overcoming The Impostor Syndrome To Become A Photographer

Courage Is Overcoming The Impostor Syndrome To Become A Photographer

| Joanna, 32, Panama

I discovered my love for photography during my college years. I remember clearly the excitement I felt back then! Taking the basic photography course made me happy and so fulfilled! It was not at all how I felt in any of my other courses.

When I finished college I thought about starting a career as a photographer but my insecurities stopped me.

I was frozen by the fear of failing!

I was afraid of making mistakes and disappointing a client. I was so critical of myself that I could only think “What if I share my work and people don’t like my photos?”.

The possibility of being rejected was too harsh on me. Plus, I couldn’t afford the best equipment at the time and saw this as an obstacle to doing a good job. I felt I would never be good enough.

So I left my camera aside for many years and chose to follow what I saw as an easier path, I developed a career in digital marketing. I worked for a fully formed company on a full pay job. It made me feel safe. I didn’t need to expose myself too much, as working in a larger group diluted my responsibility for possible mistakes. I was in my comfort zone.

But life sometimes has tricky ways to take us out of our comfort zone and show us we can be brave.

A few years later I had to overcome many of my insecurities to decide to leave my home country in the hunt for a better future. I moved to Canada and then to Panama where I live today.

This experience gave me a taste of what it was to face my fears, it made me braver.

However, during this time my passion was still left aside and I photographed only on special occasions or when traveling. Until a very special birthday when my husband gave me a new camera and I used it to photograph my new cute french bulldog, Olivia.

My love for photography resurfaced.

It inspired me again, I started taking more photos and, even though my friends and husband would encourage me, at the time I still didn’t consider working as a photographer. I needed an extra push to face my fears.

Then, one day I found out about Hello Fears and something inside of me lighted up.

I was very pregnant at the moment, and already on maternity leave, so I followed and read all the content Michelle was sharing. Her words of encouragement were inspiring, I felt braver!

After my baby was born I continued watching everything Michelle posted. I didn’t feel the same anymore, motherhood was the most difficult and beautiful moment I had ever lived! It made me lose my old self and find a new braver one.

All I could think was "I don't want to go back to an office, I should face my fears like Michelle did". And then, watching Michelle talk about her plan to become a Nomad I thought “What is my plan?”

I felt braver than ever, and so inspired! So I did it, I created my professional Instagram account @joannaherreraphotos :)

At first, I was so scared people wouldn’t like the content that I didn’t tell my family and friends, but I kept on secretly sharing my work, inspired by Michelle and my new role as a brave mom.

Surprisingly for me, people showed support and it made me even more proud of myself for finally taking this step!

Now I am on this new path, inspired by Michelle and supported by friends and family, going with my gut and working towards MY PLAN!

I can spend hours editing or in long photo shoots and surprisingly, work doesn’t feel like a burden anymore, it makes me feel free and proud.

I am aware the road is going to be hard so I try to get inspired by other photographers instead of comparing myself to them and have been working with a photographer friend. It is good to have someone else going through this both scary and happy path with me.

It’s clear now, the joy of doing what I love will help me overcome any challenge!




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