Lately I’ve had a bad case of the I sucks. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been looking at sites like 500 Photographers, spending too much time browsing Instagram or hanging out with some amazing shooters?
The year started out great and then I got caught up in the vicious cycle of comparing myself to other photographers. There must be a fine line between finding inspiration in the work of others and judging yourself against them. Yet I can’t seem to find it. It’s either, I could have shot that, I wish I had shot that or why can’t I get shots like that? Never is it cool shot and move on. Why is that? Why can’t I just look and admire? Why do I have to compare myself?
I’m like a damn moth to a flame. I know I shouldn’t but I can’t resist. By the end of the day, I’ve looked, compared, think I suck again and can’t sleep until
the wee hours of the morning because I’m beating myself up in my head. I fall asleep, wake up and the cycle starts all over again. What is it with photographers? Do other creative’s do this? Chefs? Musicians? Actors? With this attitude nothing would ever get produced.
This has to come to an end. I mean really, who cares anyway? I have a stack of newspapers and magazines I’ve shot for over the years and the images inside of them will never see the light of day again. At the end of it all I’m making pictures for me not them. Even if I’m shooting for a client and I’m under their creative direction, I’m still shooting for me. I’m still putting everything I’ve got into it. I became a photographer because it calls to me. It whispers in my ear and pulls at me. It changes the way I see everything around me and I like the fact that the learning process is a constant evolution.
I’m taking the summer off from looking and comparing and I’m dedicating myself to pointing and shooting. I always seem to do my best work when I’m not paying attention to anyone else anyway. When I get off my ass and just start creating what’s in my head, for me and not for every other photographer out there. When I pull my inspiration from everyday life; the music I’m listening to, the food I’m eating, the films I’m watching, the books I’m reading or my travels. I have a list three-feet long of ideas and it’s time to start executing them.