This morning I posted a photo on various social media (check out Facebook to see it) of a shot of a horse I took a while ago. I honestly don’t remember when the shot was taken but I know it was prior to 2006, when I had the 8×10 printed for a class I was in. I don’t think I had a digital camera though, so I know it’s probably been at least 10 years since I took it. It’s crazy how far I have come since then. As photographers, we are always told not to compare ourselves to other photographers because we are all in very different places in our journey. Honestly, it’s hard not to. You want to be inspired, and support your friends in the community and it’s hard to not look at their work and instantly compare yours against theirs regardless of how different your styles, or subjects may be. Usually, your self-esteem takes a hit and personally I end up with thoughts like “why do i even shoot anymore? I suck so bad”.
So it’s nice to actually follow the advice that’s given to you and pull out your portfolio and browse. In some shots, I see how far I have come with broadening my body of work. I see my improvement in focus, utilizing depth of field, knowledge and understanding of light, and my willingness to try new things. I see my desire to learn, and grow, and the perseverance to not give up on a dream. I see the same style, that is entirely my own, STILL PRESENT.. 10 years later. I see why we should be comparing our work against only our own.. it’s inspiring rather than debilitating. I feel motivated and empowered that I am on the right path.. and I’m getting there.
I know I am lucky that I found my passion for life, when I was young. Some people don’t find it until they are 50, and some never find it at all. I feel lucky, and grateful that I get to spend almost my entire life doing something I love, and sharing it with others. If you haven’t found yours yet.. don’t stop looking. Every minute that I spend working in this field.. even doing the things I like the least (culling images..ugh!), I’m enjoying myself thoroughly. I wish that everyone could feel like this when they go to “work” everyday.. because honestly, it’s not work. It’s fun.
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