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.