As my photographic confidence improves, I’m far more comfortable being seen in public with a camera slung around my neck. For the longest time I was just far too self-conscious, felt too conspicuous, and as a result would fumble and rush taking my pictures, rarely taking the time to think about composing my shots properly. My images would never turn out as good as I would have liked so I would feel like a fraud, and afterwards would feel even more self-conscious about (as I saw it) ‘pretending’ to be a ‘proper’ photographer when the results were so decidedly mediocre.
But as my confidence is increasing, slowly but surely, I’m feeling (relatively) more comfortable wearing my camera as an everyday accessory so take more time with my composition, and as I’m seeing a positive difference in my images I’m feeling even more confident, which feels good. I’m still not great, but I’m getting there. There are always those times of course when the only option is to grab my camera and shoot whatever-it-is as it comes or risk losing the shot, but otherwise I’m becoming a lot better at thinking first about framing, vastly reducing the need for cropping later.