“Keep comparing yourself to others and you’ll forget who you truly are”.
I wrote those words to accompany an image on Instagram a few weeks ago. I’m not sure if I had heard those words somewhere else before but either way, they came to mind recently.
One of my workshop students recently mentioned the quote and said it resonated with them, how viewing too many images online and getting caught up in social media politics, he began to lose sight of why he was a photographer in the first place.
In this digital age, it is so easy for us, particularly photographers, to compare yourself and your work against someone else’s in a negative way. To a degree, we can partly thank social media for this.
What do most social media platforms have in common? The majority are based upon having a following. Whether it is ‘friends’, ‘likes’, ‘fans’or ‘followers’. It’s an old fashioned popularity contest out there. If you don’t have many, then you probably want more, and when you have them, it becomes evident that you can never have enough. But does a digital following justify you or your photographs worth?
One thing about visual art is that it is completely subjective. Just like ice-cream flavors, there’s plenty out there and everyone has their own preference. There is no right or wrong choice (although choc mint is definitely a contender for number one!).
When it comes to photography and posting online, you can either try conform to what’s ‘trending’ and attempt to keep afloat in a never ending torrent , or save yourself the time and energy and simply do what comes naturally to you. You’ll never please everyone, so if anything you should try grow as an individual, challenge yourself and set out to achieve your own personal goals. There is not much more rewarding than this.
I think you’ll find that when you’re honest with yourself it shows, and you’ll soon begin to attract the type of people you’d like to associate yourself with.
I’ve returned to this tree several times over the years but never really captured it in a way I felt was just. After waiting a few months for the sun to align and the right clouds to form, it was time to be reunited with an old friend. This is ‘Arms Of The Almighty’
From time to time I go and visit an old friend. He lives alone now, although it doesn’t seem to bother him. Conversations between us are brief, he doesn’t say much, but he has plenty of stories to tell. Scars imprint his body, his outstretched arms have graciously housed thousands. Despite his age, he still stands so firm, I see now it is because his foundations run deep. Unwavering by the ever changing world around him, there is very little that could make him fall. As I have searched, it is evident that he is a part of a dying breed, yet there are still some who refuse to fall. WP