The Art of Non-Comparison
I think as mothers and businesswomen were pre-dispositioned to be in a constant state of discontent. We hold ourselves, our children, our friends and others that surround us to high standards. We compare – desire more, long for what we don’t have and far often this is what holds us back.
To be the perfect parent we must be keeping up with the Jones constantly. Your son is walking and mine isn’t? Well then there must be something wrong. Little Brandie only has 4 teeth and mine has 8? Well then she must be behind. That perpetual state of believing we must be in line with every similarity as human beings can trip us up. Make us worry. Make us feel inadequate. And then we find this overflowing into other aspects of our life.
It overflows into our work – our photographs. Our purpose as artists is to create art. But can we really consider it our art if we are just creating to keep up with photographer x, y, and z?
Now let me ask you this – when is the last time you’ve scrolled through your feed of photographers and not thought to yourself – Oh, I wonder what settings she used? or What preset is that? I wonder where they got those clothes? and Where is this location? But instead thought to yourself, wow that is an amazing photograph and continued on with your day. When’s the last time you’ve taken inspiration from others and made it your own, rather than documenting what photographer A did and tried to recreate it.
I’ll admit, I’m guilty of most of the things we constantly try not to do as photographers, but after the past year of truly exploring, finding what I like and don’t like, experimenting with setups and cameras and all sorts of editing I’ve discovered how to truly find my own voice and that’s by putting blinders on and doing what I like, not what I think everyone else will like.
Then it started overflowing into all other aspects of my life. I no longer have this pressure to be the perfect parent, to worry over comparing my child to others. My photographs changed. They looked less like photographer B’s work and more like my own.
When you do what makes you happy other people will pick up on it – your children, your clients, they feed on your energy – so why not put good vibes out there and do what you do best? Don’t worry about anybody else.