NY Boudoir Photography | Sometimes I get Blue

It happens every spring. April to be exact. I fall into a creative slump. The “I suck” comments are completely overpowering the “I got this” mantras in my head. I start the dreaded exercise of checking Facebook, comparing myself to others, over feeding the “I suck” machine.

It happens every April.

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I debate if I am worthy enough to be an artist, an educator, a voice. I wonder if my fans and followers will see through my facade and call me out on being a fraud. “I don’t know what I am doing”, I say to myself. How can I expect to help other when I suck so badly.

It happens every April.

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I try to come up with a backup plan in my head. What would I do if I wasn’t a photographer? Who would I be? What other talents might I have. If I quit, would I let down my family, my sponsors, my fans…. myself? Would I miss my camera? The women I work with? ย Would something else fulfill me like photography? The struggles, the smiles, the tears and the joy.

It happens every April.

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Last April was a bad one. I was thiiiiis close to quitting. I didn’t. I struggled through though, I can’t lie to you about that. I don’t know why it was such a tough time. I try to give myself a break. I try to remind myself that being great will only come with practice, and patience. Patience. Not my strongest suit…. Sigh.

This April I was determined not to fall in the slump. I have spent my sleepless night thinking of what I can do to prevent it. Take control of my feelings and insecurities. I decided on few things.ย The first is getting creative.

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I decided I needed to get out of the studio. ย I shot this weekend on Long Island at the White House Farms Mansion. This was a great opportunity to push some limits. I decided on a milk bath.

Milk bath photography is so popular these days, but I wanted to do it differently. They are typically very muted and romantic. I decided to make it colorful and edgier.

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I don’t know if I succeeded in making beautiful images, but I DO know that I succeeded in making myself happy. It was so amazing to shoot for me. No pressure, just fun. No limits, no naysayers. No one else to impress. Just me, my camera and whatever else I wanted.

This April, I win.

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I would love to hear from you guys about your experiences. Do you fall into slumps? What do you do to prevent it? Help yourself? How do you push your creativity?

 

xo,

Jen

 

PS… Thank you to my amazing beauty team Diana and Toni for helping my visions come to life.

All Images shot with the Nikon D3S, Sigma 50mm Art and lit by the Westcott Flex.

30 Replies to “NY Boudoir Photography | Sometimes I get Blue”

  1. Jen, it happens to us all. I think it awesome that you took April by the horns and just went at it. I know from past experience that this happens not only to me but others, and I make it a goal every season to put on that creative hat and just go for it, all or nothing. It keeps me sane and gets me pumped for what’s to come. I love the images, I got to say I’m sad I didn’t think of doing colour first

  2. I think shooting for pleasure is a huge key. Going back to images that you were imperfect, but shot with passion and lust for the craft ๐Ÿ˜€ Getting off the internet and getting out and just creating keeps me moving….and I think that that’s the key with slumps. You will have them, but if you keep moving, you will move out of them <3 You rock ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. i think what endears you to us, above your talent and personality, is that you are human. Perfection is boring. The fact that you reveal yourself is relatable. I respect you more all the time.great work, and Great blog! Mary

  4. Yessss, totally.
    (We live in Canada and) the months of cold and grey are restful for awhile and then culminate in an intense moment of Needing to be creative again but not even knowing how/when to start.

    I love this shoot!
    xo.
    L

  5. Jen, thank you for sharing your struggles. April I find my hardest month and its Fall here heading into Winter. Feels like the Winter blues and last year I was thiiiiisssss close to chucking in the camera. And this year has felt much the same.

    I’m struggling to get bookings after increasing my price after having consistent bookings and wanting to price myself out accordingly. It’s hard and I have the voices in my head saying “I’m not good enough to book, you suck Laura, get a real job”, with many tears shed thinking how much of a failure I am and all my wonderful clients that I do have think I”m doing great. And would kick my ass if I closed up shop.

    Saturday I done a shoot for me and they only paid our Hmua, it was amazing. A bit hard knowing I don’t earn anything but the love of it screamed passion and I felt like I had it. The images show it. And It kicked my bootie in the right direction.

    Jen, my long story short, I fall into slumps all the time. April is the worst. To get out I claw my way up.
    Re-thinking, re-focus, re-fresh.

    Thank you again for sharing the realism of your life. And our life is somewhat normal <3

  6. I first saw you on Creative Live and INSTANTLY fell in love with you. Not only as a photographer, but as a person. Now that you say you struggle (just like all humans) only makes me appreciate you even more!! I am fairly new to digital photography and find inspiration in photographers such as yourself. I may not practice boudoir, but you inspire me to go further and become the photographer I wish to be. I search for other photographers who push their limits of greatness and give me ideas and concepts that motivate me. Thanks for this! Love the paint by the way!!

  7. Hi Jen…thank you SO much for sharing your heart. I totally understand and empathize with you. I go through this every winter. Although social media is a blessing at times it can also be a curse. The constant comparing your own work with others is exhausting. And then I know its time to pull away from it all for a while. We all have our different gifts and talents to bring to the table. Don’t give up!

  8. I love every bit of you for your honesty, your vulnerability and your drive. In doing something for yourself, you shattered some boxes and created something no one has seen before. I love this session and I love that you took time to do it for yourself!!!!

    I fall into all kinds of slumps. Creative slumps are uncommon for me, because my ideas literally keep me awake all the time. I have to force them down. I did blog some ideas for those who fall into creative slumps… If ever you want to peek I will link you up.

    love you for this post.

  9. Hey Jen! Love that you shared this & know EXACTLY how you feel…and BTW, love the water work! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. WOW! It is so nice to know I am not alone! Someone on creative Live has what I call “dark moments” too! Just this last week I freaked out that I was not going to book enough clients to go full time. That I would be stuck in an office job forever… Im comforted to know that I am not alone:)

    ps. the last image is my FAVORITE! #love!

  11. Thank you all for taking the time to read, comment and compliment. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. Not only because it feels nice – but because it feels even better to know I am not alone too. I truly love you all.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing. I wonder if it’s the “rush” that wears off after WPPI. I found myself feeling the same way, thank goodness I have some pretty amazing and support friends in the industry that have helped me along the way.

  13. Jen,

    This is EXACTLY what I am feeling today. I’ve been waking up every morning for the past few days with those same questions and compare myself to others, and think…it’s time to just quit.
    You are such an amazingly talented artist, so I never imagined that you would ever have those thoughts. Thank you for being so genuine; it helped me to see that I can push through and challenge myself to think differently.
    This shoot is so artistic and beautifully done. You knocked it out of the park, lady! Please don’t ever quit; you have been blessed with a talent to makes others see the beauty in people…and that makes the world a better place.

  14. WOW, nice to know we are not alone.

    You Go Girl!…wish I had more, but a good photo shoot is always
    a nice rush to start those engines.

  15. Hi Jen.
    I attended one of your seminars in NJ, and I have followed you on Creative Live. Part of trying to decide if I have the energy to enter Boudoir Photography as a second career after retiring from my primary career. I have a considerable amount of experience in photography (had a camera in my hand since I was about 10). Sooooo…I can understand you second guessing your talents…but worrying about sucking…really? I would be happy if my talents were considered as being nearly as good as yours on those days when you think you suck. You are a very talented photographer and teacher.Thanks for your creativity, your inspiration and your willingness to pass on your skills through your seminars.

  16. Follow-Up to Previous Post:

    Hi Jen.

    So that you don’t think that I missed the point from your inquiry…I am always questioning my skills and whether I suck. Many have looked at my photos, told me how great they are while I am thinking…”I don’t think so” You see, I am my own worst critic. So if you are your own worst critic…feeling like you do as we roll from winter into spring is natural. If you weren’t so talented, you wouldn’t take the time to worry about if you suck or not

  17. So glad its not just me! Creativity is an ever evolving result. You are amazing and inspirational! I love your honesty as an artist and professional.

    YOU ROCK!!!

  18. I get the down in the dumps slumps every 4-6 months. I don’t know what brings it on, I don’t know to stop them from coming on. Usually a creative shoot and a lot of writing pulls me out, but it takes me a while to realize that’s what I need. It’s oddly comforting to know that someone with your ability battles the same self doubt sometimes. Thank you for sharing your experience and especially for sharing those AMAZING images!!!

  19. Jen, It happens to all of us. I live in the Northwest were RAIN is a part of spring. I used to avoid it and now I embrace it. Turn the music us and dance around the studio!! Find new ideas and ways to get happy! Your not alone! I struggle daily to keep caught up (never ending battle) and balance everything. Somedays I just have to remind myself that this IS caught up and balanced ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. Thank you for sharing. I think your shoot is great. Things go up and down, and I’ve had struggles, but I’ve always been an artist. If I couldn’t do photography, as a living, I know I would still do it for myself. I recently attended an art meeting at a group I belong too. All kinds of artists. We also share our work at the end. It was so inspiring to see everyone’s work, I could hardly sleep. I use to do a lot of drawings, pen and ink, charcoal, way before photoshop! I wanted to do that, actually touch the medium. I hope to do something by the next meeting, besides my photography. I truly believe it’s important to nurture your own creativity, it always helps on the inside. Congratulations to you for doing just that!!!

  21. Thanks Jen for being so honest about your struggles as a photographer. I love how you approached this coming April with the conviction of conquering it! After reading, I don’t feel that alone in my creativity. We all hit slumps and it’s how we get back up and address it.

    Love the twist on the ‘milk bath’ project. They turned out incredible. That’s one of the ‘to do’ projects on my list too.

    Take care

  22. Yes but what happens come May? I bet things come together again and you move on. Maybe April should be a time to ruminate and regroup…and not work as much. What exactly happens to you when all things are in bloom everything’s beautiful,life starts anew that you feel the dumps? Why do you think people follow you? Your last creative live was astoundingly good. Your images are inspired. And yes you did the right thing. Getting out and pushing in a new direction are things we have to do to jump start us sometimes. I have images of “scenes” I want to create that tell stories about the relationships between mothers and daughters. Even if I don’t have the time to do it right this minute it’s in the back of my mind for the future. Take heart. You are valued and respected.
    Andrea

  23. OMG – I was so relieved when I heard this — I only shared my “April” with my husband and adult children, who of course supported me shamelessly. They got me through and my love/passion for helping women feel beautiful. I think your “solution” this year of doing a shoot just for you during your blue time. THANK YOU so much for your BRAVE post!! I think you are just the best teacher a photographer can have and thank you for pushing through those doubtful moments so that I can learn from you and get better.

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