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August 25, 2015

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The Comparison Trap

Do you ever compare yourself? 

As I was scrolling through facebook messages today, I got a little sidetracked looking at pictures and posts from other photographers. While I admit that sometimes I do get sidetracked on this social media thing, I don't spend too much time looking at work from other photographers. Mainly because of time and also because I think it is pretty easy to fall into the trap of comparison. Do I love to be inspired? Absolutely! In fact, for me, I love to go immerse myself in the photography department of a bookstore and soak in all the eye candy. So many books from the way other people see the world just gets me. Another way I get inspired is by spending time camping, the beach, and just about anywhere where I can get some quiet. (As a mom of a houseful, I don't get too many quiet moments. ha) 

I am not sure why on social media it seems the comparison thing seems to be a bigger deal, but I can tell you that I know I am not the only one, as many photographers have shared the same thing with me. So what do you do when you start feeling that sneaking little comparison bug?

Here are some DO's and DON'TS that I have found helpful:

DON'T . . . 

  • Get yourself down because you are not so and so and your work isn't just like so and so's. Everyone is unique and you gotta just be who you are. 
  • Spend hours on end looking at the work of other photographers. You can spend some time, but when you are focused on what everyone else is doing, you forget about what you need to be doing. Find what you love to shoot and spend time learning and growing who you are.
  • Don't quit. Sometimes when you feel like you aren't where you are supposed to be, it may seem easy to just throw in the towel, but quitting is never cool.

DO . . .

  • Be inspired by the way others see the world and grab your camera to show others how you see it. 
  • Spend time investing in your growth. We all have room to grow, so take the time to learn in the areas you are weak in. 
  • What aspect of photography do you love? Do you like lifestyle, portraits, photojournalism, still life, etc? What do you get excited about? Spend more time taking pictures of the things you love. 
  • Be you. There is only one of you so be the best YOU that you can be. 

 

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2 Responses

Chris Simmons
Chris Simmons

August 19, 2018

Thank you for sharing, I am not a professional photographer. However, I have been thinking about going pro, and “the comparison trap” has driven me away, more times than I care to share.

Thanks,

Chris

Sara
Sara

February 11, 2016

I’ve been taking pictures for 15 years and I just got tired of people asking me to take their photographs because I thought my photography wasn’t good enough. Someone wouldn’t take “no” for an answer and I feel in love with doing capturing memories for other people, not just for myself. Hence, I find myself nervous to post pictures and look at all the flaws in my photography. I will take your advise and stop comparing myself. Although I’m not new to the lens, just new to the business. Thanks for the pep talk.
Sara Lynn

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