You’re Only As Good As Your Experience & Knowledge | How I Use My Nervces

August 24, 2017

If you read my first blog in this two-part series, you possibly resonated with my fears of failing after I pursued something I was passionate about, which happened to be photography. In short, I looked to pretty images on Pinterest, the standards I placed on myself and heard from society that attaining this perfection could happen fast and easily for me.

And it didn’t.

I was only as good as my current experience and knowledge.

Which at the time—was either zero to little, if I’m being honest.

I hadn’t read blogs, asked questions, watched YouTube videos or experimented with friends as subjects to understand how to pose them, work with light, shoot in manual or the other many learning curves that come with photography.

I simply hadn’t put in the time to gain the experience or knowledge.

And, if you’re anything like me, I’m willing to bet that if you’re pursuing something you’re interested in, you don’t mind spending hours getting lost in blogs, YouTube or attending workshops learning this craft of yours. It’s what I did! And I loved it.

Heck, I still love it! I continue to do this all the time in different, more specific areas of photography, business and marketing.

So don’t let fear or lack of experience stop you!

While my fear has changed to a healthy amount of nerves before wedding days or sessions, I’ve learned recently of a way to help myself use these nerves for the good.

How I Pep Talk Myself  

If I’m starting to feel nervous and believe the lies that I’m incapable of pleasing my clients (sheesh people pleasing is yet another blog, I believe!), afraid of “failing” or believing that I’m not “good enough”, I pull a “Jordan” and insert logical thinking. (hahaha)

Sometimes logic versus emotional thinking is just best. This is where Jordan wins. He’s the logic to my emotions, and we balance each other so well.


Firstly, as I drive, I remind myself of my purpose.

My purpose is to serve and love on my clients while doing my best to capture the memories on their wedding day so that they can relive each day after they say, “I do” with the ones they love.

For some reason, when I remind myself to simply do my best and serve and love on my clients, my nerves just go out the window. I’m not kidding.

My shoulders go down, and I think, “Oh, yes, I can DO this”!

Everything falls into place.

There have been days where I just KNOW I’m going to be late, and if you’re anything like me, your whole day can be thrown off if you’re afraid things aren’t lined up perfectly for you. So I remind myself of this logic: love and serve. Even if I am late (which it always works out), I can’t let this affect the rest of my day.

When I let this be my standard, my confidence in my photography skills and creativity truly flourish.

I wish I had pep-talked myself this way years ago, but thankfully, I’m learning and have it in my bag of tricks now.


Secondly, I remind myself that I’m capable of producing the work I’ve already done. The work that I’m proud of—I can do that again.


Lastly, I challenge myself to the idea that I can improve. I can improve in my creativity; improve in my decisions I make with light, my settings, my posing.

But there’s a threshold, right? Okay, don’t lose me here.

Here I am almost 4 years into wedding photography, and I come with my experience + knowledge + whatever I challenge myself to improve on, gain and learn in that wedding day.

From each wedding day on [if I’m constantly challenging and refining my art], I have the potential to get better. To become more and more like my photography idol, Katelyn James. But I couldn’t have accomplished this without 1) experience 2) knowledge or 3) challenging myself to grow.

If I went into a wedding day without applying myself, I could either accomplish what I know I already can or (hopefully not) regress. The decision is up to you.

When I leave a wedding and look back on the day and think: I served well, I did my best with the knowledge I already have, and I tried something creative and new, I feel successful. This is my goal.

If I get caught up in worrying what my couple thought, what their parents thought or what I could’ve done better, I’m wasting my time. Because while yes, I am in a service industry, I can’t be upset with myself if I know I’ve accomplished what I’m capable of and did my best with what I was given.

Logic. For the win.

There is so much room for grace in this scenario.

This logic saves my people-pleasing-self from being my own worst enemy.

Did you lose me? I hope not. In short, I want you to know that you can use your nerves for the good. Pull a “Jordan” and logically talk yourself through them. You have your own current, unique potential that you can intentionally grow each and every time you pursue your passion. Use it to serve, and everything will seamlessly fall into place.

Are you being realistic with what you can accomplish? Challenging yourself in little, reasonably attainable ways? Go and use your obvious gift to serve and love on your clients—extend yourself grace, and you’ll find that it’s hard to let the nerves hold you back.

Anything feels possible when you remind yourself of your reality. You are capable up to your own threshold that you work toward (time + knowledge + applied effort for growth & creativity).

So how are you getting experience? Gaining knowledge? Challenging yourself? 

You got this friend. Savor your journey.





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Lindsay Davenport is a newborn and motherhood photographer + educator based in Dallas and available for travel worldwide.

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