How to Stay Inspired without Comparing Yourself to Others
There is a lot of talent out there! And with the internet and a million and one groups to be a part of in the photography world, it’s easy to get lost in a web of incredible images. It’s almost certain that at one point you will find yourself comparing your work to others and start feeling like your work is sub-par (which, it’s not by the way). This can be discouraging and often create a sense of failure and never being good enough. Let’s break that way of thinking and use our peers to help get inspired instead of discouraged! Here are a few ideas on how to change this way of thinking:
1. Join a Community
Community over competition – heard this saying before? It holds so much value, and once you adopt this way of thinking you will find yourself surrounded by a supportive and awesome community that wants to see you succeed. Working as a creative is hard enough with just self-doubt but add in people who want you to fail and it will be hard to find your success. Find your community – find your inspiration!
2. Draw Inspiration
It’s easy these days to keep up on work of those you admire with all types of social media. Look at their work daily, and when you catch yourself thinking – uhg! They are so good! I will never be as good as them! – stop right there. Instead of beating yourself up, learn from what you love about their work. Study an image and really dig deep into what makes it amazing for you. Is it the colours? The emotion? The movement? Take one element of their work or image that truly speaks to you and challenge yourself to work it into your own work. Take inspiration from your admiration and create your own.
3. Share your Work
The more you share your work the more you will find that others may be inspired by it just as much as you are inspired by other photographer’s work. The beautiful thing about photography is that there are so many different styles, subjects and creative ways to express your own personal art. The more you share, the more likely the people who appreciate your work will see it.
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4. Look Back On Your Own Progress
You see your work all the time, all of it, and so often that it’s easy to start picking it all apart. When we see other photographer’s work online, we are seeing their best images, their carefully curated album of portfolio worthy shots. Do this for yourself. Take your top images from the last few months and put them together and see them in all their beauty! Then look back a year or more and see how you have evolved in your art and how much you have grown. You are a Rockstar!
5. Create for Yourself
Trends come and go. Photography is always evolving. Whatever you are creating, be sure you are creating for yourself, to feed your own passion. It’s easy to want to imitate work you admire, but it’s more important to be inspired by it and instead, create your own work that fuels that fire that made you want to be a photographer in the first place. Create your vision, create your art and make sure you carry pride in your creations.
6. Lift Others up
See someone’s work you love? Tell them! Because, believe it or not, they have likely had those same self-doubt thoughts and compared themselves to someone else at some point too. Let them know they are creating work that speaks to you.