July 11, 2011
Don’t Compare Your Work to Others…
When I look at other photographer’s work I sometimes get discouraged. I’ll see an incredible shot, taken at a place I’ve visited before and wonder why I didn’t see it. I may see a great new technique and wonder why I didn’t have the vision to think of that. There will be a fantastic new portfolio on a familiar subject and I’ll wonder why I hadn’t see its potential.
In other words: I sometimes compare my work to others and become unhappy with my work and progress.
Do you ever feel that way? I suspect that we all do this sometimes: compare our work to someone else’s, or worse, compare our work to everyone else’s! It’s good for me to periodically remind myself of a few things (and that’s why I write all of these blogs);
First, creating art is not a competition, someone does not have to lose for someone else to win. Unlike much of life, we can all win if we create images that bring about personal satisfaction.
Second, it’s not realistic for a photographer to be great in all things. I am not going to be a great street photographer AND a great portrait photographer AND a great landscape photographer AND a great photojournalist AND a great abstract photographer. So comparing myself to all of these other photographers is just silly and frustrating! We can be great, but not in everything, and our goal should be to find what we are great in.
Third, please yourself. Comparing, in photography or in life, is never very productive. You cannot look to external standards, whether it be others work or their opinions, to find personal satisfaction. You must be comfortable with yourself and your art to find satisfaction.
Don’t compare your work or yourself to others, it’s not needed and no good will ever come from it.