Y’all. I’m going to type that again, and not just because SEO, but because I’m still trying to believe it: I’m an award winning Raleigh wedding photographer, and this post is about three big news items!
Rangefinder Magazine announced their prestigious 30 Rising Stars in Wedding Photography for 2022 on Monday, and I am so, so honored to be one of the 30. Then on Tuesday, the Fearless Photographers Collection 68 winners came out, and I found out I’d gotten my first Fearless Award.
The third big news item is that I’ve got a dedicated space to photograph boudoir now and, fingers crossed, it will be ready for boudoir sessions in mid-January. More on that coming on instagram soon!
About the awards though. I’ve always had imposter syndrome with regard to my photography. I’ve been making photos for over half my life and I still don’t think of myself as “a creative.” That’s partly because I’ve never felt even moderately good at other creative pursuits (music, painting, crafts, etc.). And I’m sure part of it comes from a couple of photography teachers giving me what amounts to “consider something else” feedback – one in high school, and one in my college journalism program. But I think the biggest reason I don’t identify as a creative is that I’ve always felt the analytical and academic parts of my brain were much more objectively impressive than the creative side. I’ve always loved consuming art – museums, books, movies and tv, galleries, etc. – but until photography, I’d never particularly enjoyed creating it, because I didn’t think I was good at it.
This is a character flaw (or maybe just neurodivergence), but I tend to quit things when I feel I’m not excelling. It’s the gifted child curse of wanting to always be the best at a thing right away. So I wasn’t a creative because every art form I tried, I felt like I sucked, and, with the exception of photography, I quit trying.
For whatever reason though, I never quit photography. Even though I definitely wasn’t excelling. I don’t think my high school and college teachers were wrong. Frankly, I don’t think I was even sort of good, let alone a rising star. But I stuck with it (maybe the first thing I really stuck to?) as a hobbyist. It took another few years of misery practicing law and literal brain surgery to convince me to fully commit to BEING a photographer, and even now, I still struggle to think of myself as a creative.
My imposter syndrome isn’t so bad that I can’t tell that I do good work. Sometimes I’ll even look at one of my photos and think it’s great work. But I struggle constantly with the comparison game. I’ll look at the photographers I admire, and think that I don’t have the innate creativity they seem to possess, and that no matter how much I study and practice, I’ll never be able to make work as great as theirs.
All this to say, I didn’t think I had a chance in hell at being invited to submit to the Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars, let alone a chance at being one of the winners. But I’m beyond happy and grateful, and while I know external validation in the form of awards should not be a driving force (my driving force is making images my couples will love for years to come), this has been a nice balm on my fears of being a fraud. I’m still not sure I feel comfortable calling myself a creative though.
I’ll just call myself an award winning Raleigh wedding photographer instead and let the images I make do the talking that my insecurities can’t seem to manage.
We believe that love is fun and colorful, and your wedding photographs should be too.
Kivus & Camera are Raleigh Wedding photographers who create bold, colorful, magical memories of your wedding day with beautiful, artistic portraits AND enthusiastic, genuine moments. Your unique love story deserves to be told through unforgettable, breath-taking photographs that stand out from the crowd. Kivus & Camera love creating that magic. After all, as past bride Courtney says, we are photography sorcerers.
And though we call ourselves Raleigh wedding photographers, we definitely photograph Durham weddings, Chapel Hill weddings, Cary weddings, etc. We’re all over the Triangle area, and we’re happy to head to the beach or mountains and even to places outside of North Carolina! Just let us know where your love story is headed.