Let me just clarify something before I begin…I LOVE wedding blogs. I do. <– No pun intended. I mean, who doesn’t (ok, maybe the butcher…but you never know.)? All the pretty photos and couples in love and gowns and flowers…it’s a magical little world on the internet. However, this magical little world was hurting my real life little world.
I used to read wedding blogs like…like I was a bride getting married. In the beginning it was fun – wow, who knew mason jars could look so pretty…and barn weddings can be chic…and peonies!…Where have peonies been all my life! But then it became: How did this photographer shoot that?…What are they editing with?…What camera/lens/flash/tripod/reflector/bag/strap/moisturizer are they using?? And the worst – WHY ARE THEY GETTING FEATURED AND NOT ME?
It became very toxic. I started hating my work and being unhappy with the way I was shooting and editing. I was picking apart every photograph and analyzing the lighting and the angles and poses, oh my. I started obsessing over editing and colors and style. I would beat myself up for days if a wedding blog rejected my submission. I felt inadequate. But worse, I was losing confidence.
So I stopped. I stopped reading wedding blogs. I stopped what was forcing me to compare myself to others. I stopped submitting my shoots to them, too. Instead, I shifted that focus and energy back into my work and concentrated on finding myself again. It wasn’t easy. I was dying to know what the other photographers were doing and what fabulous weddings they were shooting but I owed it to myself and my clients to find my own voice through my work.
And you know what? It worked. I began to like and enjoy the work I was producing again. I became comfortable with my style and was making it my own. I finally felt like I was myself and my photos were an extension of me. I didn’t care anymore if I thought someone was doing better than me – I slowly stopped comparing myself to others and focused on the path that I was put on and knew good things will happen to me, too, if I worked hard and believed it. And I was right. And I’m so much happier.
I know a lot of us can’t help comparing ourselves to others and get discouraged and crestfallen. Please stop. Focus on becoming a better version of yourself – not a poor man’s version of someone else. Embrace your shortcomings and emphasize your strengths. Always be yourself…be true to yourself…and love yourself.
By the way, I do visit wedding blogs again. But I limit myself to how much I read and how I often I visit. Now when I do see the beautiful work done by other photographers, I can’t help but be grateful for the amazing work these talented people produce. They continuously raise the bar higher and encourage us to strive for more and become better.
(All quotes from Pinterest)