a photographer's encouragement... quit comparing yourself to others

I think it is really easy to beat yourself up as an artist. I also think it is quite normal to compare your art to other artists and think, "Geezzzzzz, I am never going to improve!" I know, I speak from experience. To be honest, that is one reason I have not ventured into my business as quickly as I can. I have lingered over pricing, and put off business things I need to set up. I have  fought my own emotional battle of fear, and still fight it on a daily basis.

But, in reality, I have improved. I have grown and stretched my abilities. One of the best ways to see if you are improving is to quit looking at others work, and start looking at your own.

BEFORE

© 2015 Simply Living Photography

AFTER

© 2015 Simply Living Photography

This session is one of my all time favorites. This L family helped shoot me right into portrait photography. It was a fun session, full of silliness, and I didn't really care what other photographers were doing at the time. That is something I need to return to, the feeling of doing all that I do for me, and the people I am trying to bless.

This photo isn't just about the session itself though. I recently re-edited it for my new site, and in the process realized just how much I have learned.

Photographers... while it is good to constantly be aware of others and what they are doing, stop comparing yourself to them. {And, let's be real, that advice applies to anyone with any type of a craft.}

BEFORE

© 2015 Simply Living Photography

© 2015 Simply Living Photography

AFTER

© 2015 Simply Living Photography

© 2015 Simply Living Photography

These newborn sessions show just how far I have come with my photography itself. While, the top two pictures show great improvement, (the first being my first newborn session ever, the second shot being the third) the quality between those two and the bottom two are leaps and bonds different. One main thing I learned during those years was how to nail exposure in natural light. I have also learned all kinds of tricks and treats to make a family relax during a newborn session, stuff I did not know during my first few sessions... sorry R and Z families. Honestly, it wasn't until I was looking through old sessions that I realized how much my work has improved. Instead, I was wallowing in a pity party, wondering if I even had the right to put my work out there. But, these photos prove to me that I am worth something, that my work is worth something.

Photographers... we have to stop judging ourselves based on others' work. It will do nothing but derail us in the long run. The best way to judge our improvement is to base our opinion not on all the stuff we see around us, but on our works.

My challenge to you: dig deep into your archives and look realistically at your work and figure out where you have improved. I'm betting you will notice the difference in your art right away. Then, look at yourself in the mirror and be real, give yourself a pat on the back for how far you have come.