Photographers can’t help it. We’re all wired to compare. Always comparing and evaluating.
The light looks better over by the window. Or, maybe out on the deck. But, what about over by the porch awning? Comparing and evaluating.
Every professional photographer spends time watching and admiring other pros and their imagery too. It’s just the nature of the game. It can be a bit depressing sometimes when you feel like you are in a rut and it seems like every one else around you has a camera and is filling galleries with delighted admirers and being commissioned to shoot Fashion shows and Rock Concerts and Sofia the First themed Birthday Parties.
They say that the only other photographer you should compare yourself to is . . . yourself.
Sounds great, huh? A little healthy respect and admiration of those who came before you seems appropriate. It helps to motivate and inspire.
The only catch is that someone forgot to mention that lil’ mantra to the client. For good or for bad, clients are going to have past experiences that they will bring along with them. Maybe they just moved and want to find another photographer with the same love of empty fields and vintage couches. Maybe they were burned by their last photographer because she included all 639 images from their “Summer in the Park” session on the CD and they still haven’t been able to choose which one to print. Or you could be wrapping up the initial meeting with a new corporate client and as the contact person walks you to the door, she casually mentions that she hopes you are better than the last event photographer, because everyone thought he was a bit too “creepy.” Ouch.
The good news – I consider that one of the coolest parts of this crazy adventure. If ever I wanted to make a truly lasting impression . . . gear up and get ready.
Every time I meet with a new client and we get ready to shoot some pictures, I get the chance to write a new chapter to their collective photographic experience.
Who cares what happened before . . . let’s go make some magic in the here and now.