“I’m getting discouraged because I’m looking at everyone else. I can’t make my photos look like that. Should I just quit?”
If you’re thinking you should quit based on the fact that you don’t think your work is as good as everyone else, that’s wrong. First of all, you have your own style and you SHOULDN’T look like other photographers. Secondly, no one starts off as a pro or even knowing their own style.
So how do we balance inspiration and comparison? I have a little system for that. Here is my advice:
Step 1: Look at everything. Find art that you love; photography and non-photography. Just find art that you love. Surround yourself with it. Look at them objectively, not as a style you want to copy.
Step 2: Look at nothing awhile. This is when you get to take a step back and think about what you want to do. You’ve already exposed yourself to a lot of styles. You know what elements you like. You know it takes time to learn what you want.
Step 3: Learn the fundamentals. Give yourself confidence and expertise. Take webinars, classes online, and more. Here are some of my favorite resources.
Step 4: Now Create something for you. Don’t make it for money. Make it for you. Here is how.
Step 5: Keep practicing. Don’t compare your work to others. Bring your personality to your work. You can do this!