"Pride" is not a four-letter word

I wrote this a couple days ago to a friend of mine (also a photographer).  I think it's applicable to all sorts of situations where one needs to represent him or herself, such as when writing entrance essays.  Hopefully you find it interesting as well:

I think my own philosophy on modesty and pride is that all of us are on this path of learning.  Some folks are farther along than others.
Modesty is knowing that I have a lot farther to go — a lot more to learn — and that there are people who are farther along the path than me.
Pride is knowing how far I've come to get to this point.  It's knowing that there were compromises and hardships in making it to this point, and knowing that I am farther along this path than some other folks.

In my personal opinion, to sell my work, I don't have to pretend that I'm the best in the world; I'm not.  But on the other hand, if the customer doesn't understand that I'm proud of where I'm at, regardless of how far I have yet to go, then I'm selling myself short.  If the customer sees that I have potential, but doesn't also see that I have accomplishments, then I've got to change something to help them see the balanced picture.

My small suggestion in all of this is that if you're not excited about your portfolio, then keep practicing.  But if you are excited about it, then you've got to let it out, at least a little bit.  You have to realize that there are people who are better than you, but also that there are people who aren't quite as good.  Clients have to know that you're excited about how far you've come, even if you're more excited about where you're going.



Hey, it's me! I’ve been a documentary photographer for 17 yrs, software engineer for even longer, and plenty of other things in between.