A few weeks ago this beautiful lady agreed to model for me so I could get some extra practice. I had saved a bunch of pose ideas on Pinterest to try out, and we spent about an hour going through them and just having a good time. With such a gorgeous and willing model I thought for sure there would be many good shots, but when I looked through them I was disappointed – not in my model, but in myself. I realized that I was not allowing myself to be creative and try out my own ideas, and not just in this session. For the past year I have been heavily relying on the work of others, and I am realizing now that if I am to be an artist, I really have to create my own work. I know I’m a creative person, and I am capable of finding my own style and trying new things – but it can be a little bit scary. The best way to grow and learn, though, is to step outside of your comfort zone.
My sister-in-law and I were discussing that it is impossible as an artist to not look at the work of others, whether it is photography, writing, painting, sculpting – and it is good to do. We need to observe and study and learn from others. But there is a point when it becomes too much. We start to compare ourselves with others.
“I wish I was as good as her.”
“Why don’t my pictures look like that?”
“As soon as I get that lens, my pictures will look so much better…”
I’m starting to get a little bit tired of this kind of thinking. Every artist is different, and no one of us will produce art that everyone will enjoy. We have to create what WE enjoy. So here is to a new personal goal and focus for me as a photographer – to do less copying and more creating.