We all start somewhere… This journey that I’m on; a photography journey that is mine and NO one else’s!
I have wanted to write about this for a while now as I see a lot of comments on social media and I receive a ton of emails from people feeling discouraged about their work because they are comparing themselves to other photographers.
Weather you are running a professional photography studio or you’re someone that simply just loves to take photos – we have all started somewhere and we need to remember that we are all different. We see differently, we’re attracted to different things. It would be an incredibly boring world if we were all the same! 😉
So why is everyone comparing themselves to other photographers when we all have different levels of experience and our busy lifestyles compromise our work time, and again the fact that we are all different and see differently? To take a photo we have to be able to see to push the shutter, when you develop a photo in a darkroom or on your computer you have to be able to see. If your images look like someone else’s then you are not being true to your own creative self. We need to Stop worrying about what other people will think of your imagery and start making ourselves happy by creating images that YOU yourself love.
I see a lot of people looking for gratification by posting their images on social media, they want to feel encouraged, want to know they’re heading in the right direction – we have all done it. It comes down to our own self worth. When you stop worrying if other photographers like your work or not, then you will grow as an artist and really love what you do.
If you feel like you need a nudge in the right direction or want an image critiqued I highly recommend joining an association if you can in your country or contacting a professional who has been around and knows what they are talking about – looking for critiquing in facebook groups or other social media groups is something I don’t recommend. Why? Because when you put yourself out there for feedback you are going to get a lot of opinions from people who are not qualified to give them and that can be devastating to your confidence if they’re not polite. And lets face it everyone has an opinion if given the opportunity to voice it. You can have 100 amazing comments but it only takes one to make you feel like crap!
So please consider before posting an image in a group for critique – You don’t know who is responding or their level of experience & standard of work. Plus it starts so much unnecessary commenting and most of all your time could be spent better elsewhere. Use social media to post for your clients and to market your business.
When I wanted to take my business to the next level, the best thing I did was study photography – I attended courses at local colleges and also studied online. And I hired someone that I really respected in the industry for a private mentoring session. All have been invaluable to my growth and business. There is so much information out there available – you only have to go to the creativeLIVE website to see there’s something for everyone.
The only photographer you should be comparing yourself to is yourself. Looking back at your previous work is a great way to see if you’re improving or to see just how far you have come.
I love our industry and especially the newborn genre of photography and I can’t wait to see where my journey takes me next! 🙂