The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

Impostor Syndrome

Been thinking recently that knowledge really is power. Not in the usual sense of the way that phrase is used though. I mean that the skills needed to do a job well, or the confidence that you are actually good at your job gives you the power to relax and do it well. The mountaineer Joe Simpson when he was receiving plaudits and awards for his book,Touching The Void coined the phrase “impostor syndrome” to explain how he felt when his book was honoured with a top literary prize over other writers. He felt that he was a mountaineer not a writer, an imposter in other words.

When I was shooting pics for a newspaper two weeks ago I felt a little similar. I take pictures a bit like Joe Simpson wrote that book. I think I am pretty good at this strange plastic art of ours but as I look at the work of more established photographers and others I realize that I still have a few things to learn about newspaper work. Because knowing what I shouldn`t do and knowing what the best rules are for that type of work would give me so much confidence to relax and just get on with it. I put way too much effort into those newspaper pics even though it was in truth a rather little job.

Just thoughts as a wait for their reply and thanks for the advice along the way Pierre, Jeremy and Paolo.



3 responses

  1. brendamydarling


    Just passing by and read your post. For a moment, it gave me a chance to reflect upon myself. Imposter Syndrome, not obsessed with yourself but looking at yourself as an outsider, in my interpretation, I think it will help to see yourself clearly and get your priorities straight. Something I should incorporate in my daily life. Thanks.

    January 11, 2007 at 2:20 am

  2. Thanks for dropping by. I see imposter syndrome, in my case and on that job, as fear of failure when your skills are tested in a more serious, urgent way. Calmness under pressure comes from the security of knowing you can do it because you have the skill, the equipment and let`s face it sometimes, the luck on your side.

    January 11, 2007 at 1:49 pm

  3. Pingback: Not much to write « sungypsy blog

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