- Learn to say "I'm a photographer" out loud with a straight face. If you can't say it and believe it, you can't expect anyone else to, either.
- Never compare your journey with someone else's. It's a marathon with no finish line. Someone else may start out faster than you, may seem to progress more quickly than you, but every runner has his own pace. Your journey is your journey, not a competition. You will never "arrive". No one ever does.
- Embrace frustration. It pushes you to learn and grow, broadens your horizons, and lights a fire under you when your work has gone cold. Nothing is more dangerous to an artist than complacency.
Another bit of advice that warmed my heart came to me on Friday after I posted my frustration with my photography on this blog. A fellow student, wonderful photographer, and all around great guy took them time to shoot me out a message full of advice and empathy. He told me that he too was in the same boat and let me in on what he was doing to combat the negativity. I've listed my favorite bits of advice below. Thanks David, I really enjoyed your message, and I needed it!
- First, if I keep talking myself down then that's the direction I'll go - so I decided never to write negative things about my photography again.
- Second, I realized that I see things in my own unique way and decided to enjoy how I see, follow it, explore it, experiment with it, discover it... in short I decided to stop comparing myself with others and enjoy being me.
- ...keep going. Only you can be you