Why do We Compare and To Whom Do We Compare
People do not compare themselves to people who they look up too. It would be crazy to compare something when the gap is so visible. We compare ourselves to those we think are our EQUALS. It could be a local photographer or a friend who happen to share the same niche. It is normal to compare your work with others, but this question just come to me: Why do we compare? Contemplating on that question, it made me think hard and there’s one thing that crosses my mind – We do not want to be inferior on things that we thought we are master of. We are just scared. We are scared of so many things about our business. Truth be told! All entrepreneurs have their own fears.
Why is it a Problem
- It leads to an awkward relationship with other photographers and is the main reason photographers don’t appropriately network with each other.
Are you comparing yourself to your fellow photographers? The next time you’ll see each other in person, awkwardness is the all there is because of the sense of competition you feel. No matter how you keep up your smile, you’ll feel the awkward feeling inside you and if you continue comparing yourself that feeling will show in your aura and face. You are just creating an unfriendly opponent for yourself, who don’t even know what’s going on.
- It makes you less motivated to work in your industry
Now that you think you’re not good enough, you will get demotivated to the potential of your creative work and eventually forget that it is actually your passion. Yes, in one way or another you are killing your passion.
- You have a different voice ad you resonate with different people.
Just as distinct we are from one another in terms of personalities, we have different styles even if we choose the same niche. Some people love black and white and they think that is their strength. I even came across a person on LinkedIn who says he loves to photograph funerals – um, no thanks!
We all have different passions and by comparing yourself to others and seeing them as superior compared to you, you have the tendency to be like them and not being you. Now, this is very wrong! You go away from becoming you and finding a deeper shade of your voice to being more like who you envy just to make yourself feel better.
- No more self-doubt
By choosing to become you and to evolve in your style, you turn off all the “Oh man I suck! I am not good enough! I feel like I shouldn’t even bother starting this” into “I love what I am doing. I just need to explore and develop my own style, a deeper version of your craft that speaks your truth and creativity. And while you’re doing that, simply LOVE what you are doing, spend more time being creative with models that have no expectations; let the muse take over and shoot for fun and creativity more often. Always, appreciate your work and it will continue to get better and evolve as you do within your craft.
Definitely, you can turn that bad habit to an inspiration just like how other photographers were able to evolve. They may have compared themselves to other photographers, I am quite sure they learn a thing or two. I wish with all my heart that I hadn’t gotten rid of some of my first portraits in natural light; they were so bad!!! I got badly hammered on a forum by the elite men who were tired on mommy photographers but one of them showed me his first photos and gave me some tips that I tried the next week.
Those tips helped and they restored my desire to share my work and continue to grow as a photographer. So the next time, you’ll say, “They have better photos” or whatever you’re telling yourself, STOP! You got your own style and aim to develop that. Set a goal, stick to that goal, re-evaluate your goals from time to time, and keep track of your progress by comparing your previous photos to your recent photos, not to other’s photos. Your style WILL develop but don’t forget to enjoy the journey, my friend!
Karrie is a full-time marketing consultant, coach a, d business strategist. SHe is also a professional photographer and owns a small part-time studio that she started after her son was born in order to be home with him and still fulfill her desire for creative work. In her years in the industry, she was able to help other photographers developed their own sense of style. She believes that people have a beautiful voice inside. All we need to do is to let it go and show it in our work.