i’ve been thinking a lot lately about photography. i have loved it and practiced it non stop for quite a few years now. i started noticing a year or two ago that it was becoming very trendy. people all over were picking up a camera and labeling themselves as “photographers” and it actually started to upset me. i know i know, i didn’t invent photography. i’m not the only one allowed to do it. there are people who started before me. but it was almost offensive to me that someone could go out and buy a mediocre camera, post a few pics and automatically be considered a photographer. it honestly kind of consumed me. i worried so much about where the photography world was heading. something that i had worked so hard at for so long was now just a fun trend that anyone and everyone was doing?!

 i had to check myself before i WRECKED myself. it kills me that i ever cared that much!!! why should i care if other people love photography and want to do it too? that shouldn’t matter to me at all! i should be excited that others find as much joy as i do in creating art. so i changed my mindset completely. i started focusing on myself and only my work. it is SO EASY to compare yourself to others, especially on social media because their work is right in front of your face every day. and i know it is much easier said than done, but there are ways you can stay focused and not get down on yourself. some things i do to help:

  1. social media detoxes (honestly, for the most part the Instagram app is deleted on my phone. I log on to post, but other than that I try to keep my time on Instagram very minimal. I find that when I cut down my time on social media, I get so much more done and am typically in a better mood. i'm not meaning to bash on Instagram at all because I really do love it and think it is an amazing tool-but sometimes I just need a break!)
  2. think of yourself as your competition (again…easier said than done, but instead of comparing your work to other photographers’, compare it to your own. see what you love about it and what you can improve)
  3. write those things down!^ write down the things you are good at and the things you are satisfied with in a journal. If you are not happy with your work and honestly can’t think of anything, write down some things you are grateful for.
  4. take a break (get outside for some fresh air. lay on the beach, go to ice cream with friends! do something that makes you happy)

 if you are passionate about taking photos and creating art, please continue. be different. aim to create and inspire. for yourself! not to look cool on instagram or get likes. where your photography career goes is up to you. i don’t believe in the phrase “there is always going to be someone better than you.” who says they are better? and what does the word “better” really mean? they might be different or even have more experience, but art is subjective. you can’t compare two people and say one’s art is better than the other. they just see the world through different eyes. 

there is no other you, and that is your power.

copying and getting inspiration are different things, and here’s the thing. if you are copying people, you will never be completely satisfied with the result. because you are not them. you see the world a different way, and you probably have a different style of shooting and that is OKAY. in fact, that is great. can you imagine how boring life would be if we all had the exact same ideas? that being said, it is totally fine to see a photo that really speaks to you, and want to do something similar. i do it all the time. what i try and do though, is look at a picture i love and see what different spin i can put on it, or just use that photo as base inspiration and run a different direction with it. i get inspiration from music, movies, people i see on the side of the road, anything. remember that inspiration does not have to be limited to what you see on other peoples’ instagram.