Work and how I kind of learned to ignore it

You probably know the feeling to have a passion you want to pursuit, but you still need food to eat? For me it’s taking photos and while working at my current job I can’t do this of course. At my work I just look at photos of others, which motivates me, but at the same time it’s frustrating to be stuck at work and not being able to work on my own photos. I still have some things to publish, but I want to get it right and not publish it without any words written beside it. I got a huge to-do list and the other work is just absorbing my time. When I come home I am either too tired and just want to relax or I always think there is not so much time, so I spend more quality time with other people.

I tend to ignore the work and think almost everytime at work what I have to do to get further in my photography progress. My next big things will be another site, a real site, not a wordpress thingy. Additionally I want to get more photoshoots, asap please 😀

Getting back to the distracting work: There is always the dream of making your hobby your main income. That would be awesome of course. Nowadays I get some jobs with photography, but this could never be sufficiant to pay for everything I need. What’s the solution? Put all my time into it and try „to make it“? Or keep on working at my boring job, but not being able to pursuit other projects as much as I want to? I guess I need to do the second thing for a little bit longer.

I listen to a lot of Earl Nightingale, a radio speaker from the 50s, who did a lot of speeches about motivation, success and how to get it. In a lot of his speeches he describes success as the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal. I am lazy and forget a lot of things, therefore I need to listen to this almost every day to get it in my head. But when I eventually get it for the day I get quite motivated and do my boring work just as good, but with more fun, realizing that I will put this money not only into food etc, rather getting the needs for the other path I want to pursuit. It is always good to have a goal and to keep this in mind every day, even if you are currently not doing something right now in order to achieve it. I guess it’s really a mind thing (as always) and it needs to be nourished with good goals.

How to overcome comparisons with other artists or just a rant

This is a rather personal post, I guess, so be warned.

I encountered several occasions where my photos were compared with photos of other photographers in my close circle. I am way behind those photographers, I know that. And this is somehow the problem. They are way more famous, way more popular with my friends and just have the leap forward I do not have. It takes time. I try to shoot more and more. I ask almost every friend if they want to take photos. I try to get better. Of course I get inspiration by other artists, films or just my own imagination. The latter seems so unimportant when it comes to similar photos to other photographers. In my case I always here something like „oh, you have a similar style to so and so„, „oh, I have seen that style before„. It just sucks. You feel as if you did nothing, just copy.

My problem with this seems that I still have to find my style and work on it step by step. With this I try out a lot of things and in small steps I explore for myself what I really like in a photo. I knew from way before my ambitious time in photography that I liked back-shots. And it seems that even that won’t be recognized when the more famous photographers do it. Then they again will say „oh, a back-shot, didn’t so and so done that?“ „you like them back-shots, huh? So and so, as well„. I effing know. I kind of just want to cry out like a little teenage girl „I liked it waaaay earlier than the other one did!“. But I have to accept that as an artist who wants to get better you have to be compared to others, who ARE better. It just seems so unfair that own ideas won’t be recognized. It just sucks.

Furthermore, the well known photographers are not the inventor of all things. Inspiration comes from all things. You can just like the same stuff. It can happen. It just won’t be seen as that, if those two are too close together. I sometimes still struggle with all of this and question myself if I really like what I do. That is the worst part and nobody should get into that stadium. When you are questioning everything you like, you kind of are beginning to stop what you do and dislike your work. Stopping, thats the worst you could do. You should just keep going on. The comparisons will still be there, I guess. You could enlarge the distance to other photographers, even with small things, like changing themes of your blog or how you present your photos to the public eye. I don’t have the solution on everyones personal case, but the most important thing, in my opinion, is to keep on going. I experienced this myself by stopping for a bit and drowning in self-misery. It may be not as harsh as it sounds like, but I think I am not the only one who has self-doubt to some certain extend.

Ohyeah, writing about it helps as well. I like to put my thoughts onto the screen or paper, so I can put that and this thought on the side and move on. It is also a great tip for other problems as well. Well, I don’t want to beginn sounding like a author of selfhelp books. The thing you (and I) have to keep in mind is, that the comparisons will not stop, the critique will not stop and it is not beneficial at all to get distracted by all of this when you have fun doing what your are doing. It reminds me of a quote I heard some time ago: „It’s easier to steer a moving ship, than a ship who stands still„. I like those quotes. They are optimistic, dreamy and often very true.