"COMPETE don't COMPARE"
I came across these words the other day and fell in love with it because it is so TRUE. In the photography world, there is always going to be competition but that doesn't mean the competition has to be comparison. When you compete against someone else, you do your best to make yourself better at the task to succeed and come out on top. When you compare, you are either putting yourself down or thinking of yourself more highly than other. I think that is the worst thing a photographer can do is to compare themselves to another photographer. I am guilty of it. There are times where I might say I wish I the eye for that. or If only I could connect with kids on her level, I'd photograph them better. or She takes better pictures than me, I should just give up. (you'll understand why this was dumb for me to say if you have seen my never give up post)
The list can probably go on, but the truth is, the only photographer I should be comparing myself to is the one I used to be. With every day that passes by, with every release of the shutter, with every frame, with every hour I spend editing, with every workshop, webinar, or conference I attend—I will only be a better photographer compared to the one I used to be.
All photographers are different. Whether we have the same style or similarities, none of us are exactly alike, and if we were, creativity would be void and things would be boring. We are all needed, because what works for one photographer may not work for another. We are all VALUABLE. The next time you have the urge to compare yourself to another photographer, I would encourage you to point it back to yourself and compare yourself to the photographer you used to be and firstly, write down why you are a better photographer now than what you used to be. Secondly, write down the improvements you can make to be a better photographer in the future.
Hopefully this post leaves you with a bit of encouragement and enlightenment to not compare yourselves to other photographers but ONLY to the photographer you used to be.