Today’s post is one of those Preach To Myself posts. It’s one of those lessons that, while I know it well, I still have to continue to live out well. So if you think I’m writing about you, you’re wrong. This is one of those talking to myself, but out loud to the world kind of moments.
There’s nothing more suffocating, more soul-sucking, more poisonous than comparing yourself to others. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the web of looking at what everyone else is doing. ”Hey, look at what Photographer X is shooting!” “Look at how much money Photographer Y is making.” ”What great opportunities always come up for Photographer Z!” Meanwhile, you’re stuck there thinking, “Wait…why am I not there?” That’s around the start of what I like to call “The Cycle of Suck”. We all know that cycle, right? It’s the one where you start looking at what one photographer is doing, and you get depressed that that’s not you. Then you keep looking at other photographers until you realize everyone that you just stalked is doing something that you’d like to be doing but you’re not. And you get more depressed. Then you find yourself laying on the couch with no lights on, drinking cheap red wine out of the box with an almost empty bag of Cheeto’s, while watching some old 80′s kung fu flick. You’ve done that before, right? No? Yeah, me either.
Anyways, for some reason, I got that feeling today. I started thinking about what other photographers were doing, and I got a little bit jealous, then a bit down on myself. This time, however, didn’t lead to any orange cheese stains on the couch. I reminded myself that I’m not necessarily in the same fields as Photographer X, Y, and Z (and I may not even want to be). But the old adage that says something like “Great work will get noticed” provided me an opportunity. If I’m not where I want to be, then I sure as hell better get back to producing as much Awesome as I can manage. When you’re working your tail off to capture great images and telling amazing stories, there’s not a lot of time to sit around and mope and complain about how you’re not this or that. Whiners and complainers and self-deprecating Eeyore’s are wasting their time griping when they could be working on being better than they are or at least seeing the world better than they do.
So there you have it Self. Get off the couch, stop drinking crappy wine, and get busy producing Awesome.