3. Don’t aim for ‘better’, aim for ‘different’.
“It’s funny how related “better” and “different” are. If you aim for ‘better’ that usually means you’re walking in the footsteps of someone else. There will often be someone better than you, someone making those footsteps you’re following… But if you target being different–thinking in new ways, creating new things–then you are blazing your own trail. And in blazing your own trail, making your own footprints, you are far more likely to find yourself being ‘better’ without even trying. Better becomes easy because it’s really just different. You can’t stand out from the crowd by just being better. You have to be different.”
* There has been recent activity on one of the private ‘Facebook’ groups I manage that questions the integrity of those that make poor copies or plagiarise the work of others. While it is virtually impossible to be original, you can aim to be different. After all its all done before in the world of art let alone photography. An alternative approach shows that you have thought about the problem before you and used your skills to create something that is at the very least perceived as ‘different’. From time immemorial it has been normal practice with artists to learn by copying. The greatest artists that ever lived taught their craft and techniques in their own ‘schools’ by the use of the direct copy method. But, perhaps it is doubtful they ever trained many as innovative artists! That process truly began when the apprentice finally left his master’s school and ventured into the wide world to establish his own ‘visual personality’. In essence the mastery of skill, technique, application and medium that created his ‘Style’. Photography has developed a fairly unique arrogance within its ranks where it seems almost par for the course to defame one’s competition or those who are perceived to work in an inferior genre. Like every great athlete a photographer needs to train and train effectively. It requires dedication and determination even when it begins to hurt. This week I have a photographer from the UAE who is training intensively to become a wedding and portrait practitioner in a very competitive market. This includes not only photographic skills but retouching, presentation and branding. So, I thought I’d share just a few of his images…
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