Finding community with like minded creatives / by Katherine Nielsen

Photo by Jessy Smith on Unsplash

Photo by Jessy Smith on Unsplash

At times our own minds can manifest thoughts that are not always beneficial to our wellbeing. That little voice inside us can criticise our every move. Telling us, we are not good enough. I know this experience well, where I have tried to seek unattainable perfection. It has at times prevented me from even attempting new skills because the fear of failure was too high.

Photography for me came at a time where I had identified the creative element of my life was really missing. I began this blog as a tool to learn more about photography for myself but to also showcase the journeys of other photographers. It has been fascinating and deeply inspiring. I have had the opportunity to speak with and meet so many creative people. Which has only helped fuel the need for a creative space, where people could learn from each other and inspire one another. Belonging is an essential aspect of being human. Gathering a community of creatives was my sole purpose for this space. My vision got lost at times in attempts to help others a little more then I should have, and I began to forget about my own imagery as well as my own well-being.

Photo by  Liam Simpson  on  Unsplash

Instagram was my most significant platform for engaging with other photographers and like-minded individuals. However it shows only a perfectly curated feed, that looks at the world through a screen. It can often give a false sense of people's lives. The validation of likes for imagery can be somewhat damaging to people who are trying to grow creatively, and I have had so many of you reach out and ask why your images weren't getting the recognition they deserved. Instagram does not prove you're worth as a photographer. It is also run by an elite few who know how to play the game.

For me, genuine feedback is so much more important than a comment that really tells me nothing about the work or how it has spoken to that person. I have had my fair share of criticism and negative feedback. At times it has been difficult to take, but if you put yourself out there on a social platform, you will get criticised. I never started this for any kind of validation. I started this blog to provide people with a safe space to share their work, to pass on knowledge and maybe help uplift someone in a creative rut. I wanted a community of supportive creatives that were willing to share their expertise for others to develop their own skills. I can honestly say I have met so many kind and genuine people and I can also say that it has created some competitive and cruel individuals that hide behind their keyboards and put other people down.

Photo by  Seth Doyle  on  Unsplash

Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

The inspiration behind my photography was always to encourage people to get out and explore, to travel and to inspire creativity in everyone. Sharing my failures and being honest about the fact that things aren't always perfect, can be confronting at times. It hasn't been the most comfortable journey, and I have wondered why I have poured so much time and energy into this space at times. So for those of you who have reached out, for the people who have encouraged me, inspired me and believed in me.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Great things happen to those who don't stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful. R. Bennett