I came home a few weeks from a photo shoot and I was excited. Like super excited. We had just had so much fun and I LOVED the images I got. As they loaded into Lightroom I was happier and more excited as each image came in. I yelled to Scott in the other room - 'This is my favourite session EVER!!!'
Then I decided to quickly get caught up on my favourite photographers blogs - and in a swift moment, it felt like the wind was taken out of my sails. I felt deflated. Disheartened.
The images I had just taken, and had been in love with two seconds ago, did not even come close to comparing to the images on these blogs. My favourite session ever wasn't even close to being in the same league as these photographers....
Or, that's how I felt.
It wasn't the first time this had happened to me - I've struggled with this for a while. I have a pretty bad habit of letting someone else's work make me discount my own. Of letting the quality of other people's work dictate the quality of mine. Was it worse? Better? WAY SUPER NEVER COME CLOSE WORSE? We are our own worse critics - but, I loved my work, until I realized it wasn't as good as their's.
This has got to stop. I have to value myself, and my photography, more. It's okay if someone produces better photo's than me. I have to learn to use that knowledge, not to discount myself, but to push myself to be better. To improve. To learn from these more experience photographers.
And so, I have come up with a sort of system to help me with this. If I really like a certain photo and it's something I would love to see in my own portfolio - I ask myself why. Is it the pose? The lighting? What can I take from this photo and apply, in my own way, to my photo's? Then I pin it (Yes, I am shamelessly addicted to Pinterest!) so I can actually come back and reference the photo.
Secondly, if I really like a certain photo but it isn't the style or type of photo I would want in my portfolio - I look at the photo with appreciate for the wonderful work of art that it is and then, move on. Why should I get hung up over a photo that doesn't fit into my style of photography?!
This isn't a change that will happen over night. I can't just stop comparing my work to others. But, I am willing to work really hard to change my mindset about it. Do you struggle with comparing too? Any tips on how you handle it? I would love to hear them :)
Here's to turning a new 'leaf' - and to really bad puns!