Silencing the Noise by Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman of JellyBean Pictures
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Thursday, October 24, 2013
By Sandy Puc'
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I would love everyone who is reading this to just stop for a minute.




Shut your eyes and breathe in. Deeply.  




For 7 seconds, you just silenced the noise.

But we cannot walk around with our eyes shut breathing deep all the time now, can we?  

The noise in the photography industry has reached an all-time SCREECHING high.  

Most of the noise is coming from the unparalleled access we have to each other's work on a daily and minute by minute basis.  

It's the digital age not just for cameras, but for connection.  

And it's so very hard to hear our own creative voice when there is all that mumbling going on, rattling our confidence and our nerves:  

'Why did that image of hers get so many likes?'
'Why can't I shoot/edit like her when I pour my life into this craft?'
'Why did my fan count drop—did I post too little? Too much?'
'Someone HAS to comment on this image ' *refresh feed, refresh feed, refresh feed*

It's maddening. After I wrote an article on this very topic a few months back, titled Get Out of Your Own Way, I spoke to the many killers of confidence that exist in the photography industry.   The roadblocks that pop up and paralyze you on your path.   Today, I'd like to make a few suggestions on how you can start the process to silence the noise just through social media alone:  

1. Unlike the likes

OK so maybe not unlike them, but hide the feeds. So YOU can decide when you want to see them. The more 'liked' pages you have, the more inundated you get with other people's vision and the comparison game starts. It's great to find inspiration. But ask yourself: Am I finding inspiration, or am I finding more reasons to question my own eye?' If you answer the latter,

It may be time to clean up your feed.  

2. Filter the forums

Do you really need to be a part of every new forum that launches? Not ll forums are created equal. Find one that nurtures people's souls, has some like-minded fellow professionals, and keep your time on them to a minimum.  

3. Set the timer

I have an old fashioned glass sand timer. It's a half hour long. When I jump on Facebook (be it professional or personal) I set the timer. In that time I can check my friends updates, load my business images/messages and hop off. But I tell you, if you ever truly time how long you are on Facebook you will be amazed.  That half hour FLIES by that I set for myself. There are so many more productive ways to 'grow'.

In photography, and being on social media constantly is not going to get you there. Walk away from the computer and shoot. Read a photography magazine. Work on a project.  

It's not easy to silence the noise and it certainly doesn't happen overnight but the more you are conscious of the things in life that contribute to it, the more you can pull back give your brain a break.  

It's time to FREE yourself.  

*Does the topic of noise and insecurity hit home? Then be sure to follow Jennifer and JellyBean Pictures on Facebook ( for the announcement of her class on dealing with insecurities—coming January 2014.  

Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman of JellyBean Pictures is a New York photographer who captures real, documentary moments of children. Because real is awesome. You can find her work at where she also offers mentoring, and her manual {don't} say cheese which is filled with tips + tricks for the just starting out photographer.  

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