Weddings, Passion and Self-Conscious Creativity

Do you create without a need for recognition? Or does a little support go a long way? Do you hide your work away, self-conscious of it, or do you show it off for all to see?

As you read this I’ll be at a Wedding as a weird cross between Photographer and Guest. The Wedding is that of Kirsty’s sister, Katie, and her fiance, Stephen. As everyone I know is actually part of the Wedding itself, I’ve opted to spend the morning working it (as a Photographer) rather than sit in the crowd amidst people I don’t know. Greg will be with me, so we’ll be fully representing Level Up Photography, but I’ll be slowly turning into a guest as the evening (and the alcohol) gets going.

Therefore, it seems poignant to me to address one of my favourite topics, that of passion. If you’re new here, I’ve written about passion a few times, and this very blog started as an attempt to fuel my own passions. With the Wedding day currently taking place (at time of posting, not at time of writing – I do want to make this clear) it is obviously a prominent theme, passion is obviously very important to today’s event. So, I’m going to talk about my passions, because we’re not all bored with that subject on this blog are we?

A few weeks ago I had a few moments of clarity. I shared a post I’d written and it received more hits and shares than ever before, partly because it was posted directly to my own personal Facebook, partly because the topic was sensitive in nature. That same week, I also received compliments for my photography, both from an actual paying client, and also from a few friends who were really pleased with some of my work. To have a week where I received such recognition for both my creative pursuits was… a little overwhelming, but ultimately fantastic.

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One of the photos I am most proud of!

Days, weeks, months can go by and nobody notices what you’re doing and that can feel like what you’re doing isn’t quite right, that what you’re doing isn’t clicking. I think this is more so with creativity than anything else, especially if you’re a self conscious creative. There are people out there who are clearly brave enough to just create for creativity’s sake; they want for nothing but for the joy of creation, or they simply believe that what they’re producing is of a high tier. However, there are many of us who, despite creating simply to create, do so a little more tentatively and with the hope that what we’re doing is well received. I’m the latter.

As much as I blog simply to blog, as much as I take photographs to simply make a good image, I do so with the desire that someone will enjoy this work. I don’t do it to receive compliments, though of course they’re always welcome, but I do it with an intention that someone may get some enjoyment out of it. The thing is, when we’re self conscious about our work, we’re less likely to boast about it, and we’re far less likely to show it off. So, what did my recent week of praise teach me? It’s that to receive the encouragement we desire, we need to actually make our work known. By hiding our work away, we are nothing more than a self-fulling prophecy. How are we to receive encouragement for things nobody realises we do?

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The Photo of Odin that got me some love from my friends!

Ofcourse, it’s a double edged sword. By putting our work out there we open ourselves up to criticism, we have to leave our comfort zones. But it finally helps us answer our enternal questions, are our passions good enough? I find out if my writing is good enough by posting blogs, I find out if my photography is good enough by sharing my photographs, and more-so by making a career out of it. I open myself to criticism, but I vow to take it on board and adapt with it in mind. This ensures we continue to get better, this ensures we break a never ending cycle, for one that is more favourable and positive. Rather than worrying about our work, rather than hiding it out of worry, and rather that worrying more because nobody is passing comment on it, we change. We become someone who puts their work out there, who receives feedback for their work, who improves their work, and who puts their work out there once again.

Being at a Wedding is about passion, but it’s also about celebration. We all have our passions, some of us will be better at them than others, but that’s never a reason to stop. We should be celebrating our work, we should be proud enough to show it off, regardless of our skill level. A Wedding is a celebration of your love, it’s you saying to the world that “this is us“, so shouldn’t we show off our work? Shouldn’t we say “this is me – this is what I create“? After all, there’s one thing Weddings are about more than both Passion and CelebrationCommitment. Lets be committed to our creativity, let’s celebrate it with passion!


What do you think? Do you share your work or are you more inclined to keep it hidden? If you’re the latter, a bit like me, why not take it upon yourself to share something this week. If you do, let me know in the comments below!


You’d almost think I’ve timed it this way, though I haven’t, but my Facebook page just went live and this will be the first post to it! How’s that for Passion, Commitment, and Celebration? Click here or on the logo to take a peak!

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38 thoughts on “Weddings, Passion and Self-Conscious Creativity

  1. I enjoyed the part about the Self Conscious Creativity – could really relate to this! The photo of Odin is so cute! I have a poetry blog here on WordPress in case you have time to look? Wishing you a good weekend, Sam 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Sharing the Good: It's not You, It's Me | You are Awesome

  3. Love love love your posts! I think we need a good dose of both. We need to create stuff that makes our own creative heart beat faster and we have to share with others. I have an on / off relationship with sharing with others as I struggle to take on others advice. At the moment I am just enjoying myself by creating stuff for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lucy, I’m glad you enjoyed! As with all things, I think balance is most definitely key! I think creating what we love should be first and foremost, but then by sharing it we also bring that love others… Especially if they have some words of encouragement! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “By hiding our work away, we are nothing more than a self-fulling prophecy. How are we to receive encouragement for things nobody realizes we do?”

    I literally sat back and had a woah moment; had to read that line over a few times, let it sink in. I need this stitched on a pillow or something.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. josypheen

    I love your photo of the baby’s feet! Gorgeous.

    I got married a couple of years ago, and my lovely photographer was pregnant, so she had to cancel our wedding (her bump was just getting too big…) I wish I’d seen your blog before then so I could have got you to come. I had to just google wedding photographers, find one and hope for the best!

    I made a new years resolution a while ago, that if I think something nice, I should say it our loud, to let whoever it is know that I appreciate their awesome-ness. I honestly think more people should do that. If more people shared their positive thoughts about you, you’d have less self doubt in the first place!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Firstly, thank you for the compliment! I am so incredibly proud of that photo 🙂

      Secondly, what an asbolutely lovely sentiment! It’s kind of the exact opposite of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. The world would certainly be a nicer place if we all shared our positivity. Thank you so much for sharing yours here today 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved this post! So much of what you said resonated with me. For a long time, I created and hid it all away in a drawer. Slowly, I started sharing – strangely, I found it easier to share my work with strangers (on Instagram). I didn’t want my friends to see…I didn’t want to deal with the judgement or the criticism. But slowly, I’ve started sharing some of it…and funnily enough, no one has judged or criticized my work – at least not to my face! Which tells me, too, that more often than not, we are our own worst critics!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am EXACTLY the same. My blog, whilst by no means private, is never shared on my facebook. It’s shared mainly with strangers, though I’ve become friends with a fair few and the faces are a lot more friendly now! Haha. But yes, I share my work with only a select few from the close circle because of that fear!

      And you’ve actually used one of my favourite quotes “we’re our own worst critics” I try to reflect on that all the time in my work 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting!


  7. Great post. I love to write especially when the story is just flowing onto the page. That is my most favorite feeling…when everything is coming together. That being said, it is hard to release something for the public to read and hope they like it, but if I’m ever to become a better writer, I’m going to have to learn from constructive criticism. I’ve got 6 books published and I’ve finished another one. This last one my writing has improved and I’m very excited about it. 🙂


  8. angelanoelauthor

    It’s a like a dance, I think, between creating for others and creating for myself. I write because I love to write. But I share it because I want to engage with other people. Maybe writing novels doesn’t seem like the most obvious way to communicate and share ideas with other people, but that’s my medium. I love that what I write is only the starting point. The reader brings the context, they bring the connection–the magic, if you will–to what I create. Art is a conversation, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. What I don’t want is writing for the purpose of being praised. That’s not a conversation, that’s a transaction, “I do this, and you give me that.” And since I can’t control whether anyone will praise me (at least authentically) I’d end up a dancing money and not an artist. So, I write to open a conversation, to listen and to learn, to share and to receive. A dance, not unlike at a wedding. Your wedding metaphor works on many levels for me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more and that’s such a beautiful analogy for it. Writing, especially in books, is most definitely a way to share ideas and communicate. All books have a message, and we portray that message by the characters and situations we use 🙂

      Also, love that “That’s not a conversation, that’s a transaction”, great way of seeing it. That’s why I struggle sharing work with friends/family as, more often than not, they just become Yes Men, and whether they genuinely think so or not, they enjoy all your work… I often find myself begging for critique, otherwise, like you say, it just becomes “I do this and you give me this amount of praise back”.

      Thanks for reading and commenting 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you your post resonated with me. It took me a long time to put my work out there. It wasn’t until I realized (something I am still working on) that if my work doesn’t please everyone it is not personal and doesn’t reflect that I am a good/bad person. Plus I don’t want the regret of should I/could I. Just put it out there and what happens happens but no regrets. thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s those “regrets” that play havok with my thought pattern. The shy side of me wants to hide away, not let anyone see anything until I’m assured its perfect, but its the idea of ‘regret’ that keeps me going… Lifes too short, I don’t want to look back on the ‘could haves’ and ‘should have’s haha 🙂


  10. I have only really started sharing my poems in the last three years when I started blogging. I have to say, it does make me feel good to get compliments and encourages me to want to write more. Luckily, I have not had too much criticism and if I had I probably would have a different opinion on it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well done, Judy, for sharing your work! 🙂 I think its the first few steps which are hardest, and the fact you’ve received some encouragement makes it all the better! I will have to check out your work 🙂


  11. I think its natural to want to share something you’re proud of with the world, and it’s also natural to enjoy praise. Creativity can thrive from praise, but it can also thrive from criticism, with a desire to improve, to please someone who may be a tough audience. Keep putting yourself out there Shaun, and never feel guilty for enjoying the small successess x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Em! I’m definitely getting there. When I post, I do so with a little bit of apprehension but I’m slowly getting better and finding it easier! I love a bit of criticism, it definitely helps me think I’m on the right path to somewhere and gives me that thrill to improve!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Love this Shaun! I’m definitely of the I’ll where I love to share what I create and i hope it’ll be well received. There are times I’m not sure of what I’m doing but the constructive advice of my peers steers me along!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’m getting there too! I’m putting my work out with a bit of apprehension, a little bit of shyness, but I am getting more used to it and the critique/comments make it worth it!


  13. I get what you’re saying here and can relate to some extent. I like to blog and take photos of things that appeal to me. I only use my phone so am a bit worried at times that my photos aren’t accepted as ‘real’ photos. I tend to compare a bit too much and worry about promoting my blog as it doesn’t seem right in some ways. Self promotion and all that! I really like your thinking and the way you analyse these thoughts. Keep up the good work and thanks again for your recent positive comment on my blog, it’s these little things that help keep us all going.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for returning the positive comments, Debbie! The one thing I aim for in this blog is to, not only make sense of my own thoughts, but perhaps provoke some thoughts within others 🙂 I also wouldn’t worry too much about having a “real” camera, to me photography is about what an image says, not the fancy-pants equipment it’s taken on! A “real” camera can help, all the best equipment money can buy can help, but they don’t make up for a lack of talent and practice 🙂 Keep going!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Great and very thought provoking post. This is an interesting subject that I don’t think I have given much thought. In general I am quite uncomfortable with praise, but I don’t think I would opt to not have some either…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad I could provoke some thought! It’s one of my aims here, along with making sense of my own jumbled thoughts, haha. I think by sharing we become more comfortable with praise/comment/critique… It’s worth pushing out of our comfort zones!


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