I'm not trying to steal David DuChemin's thunder by posting yet another link to his blog. I love his blog. I read it every day. I recommend you read it every day if you want to be a better photographer and person. When I started this blog, I promised to post pieces of the world I found on the net that I was motivated and inspired by. It just so happens that I'm motivated and inspired by DuChemin's blog often. Today was no exception.
David suggests we find our brightest Red X. What he means by the Red X is, where in the grand scheme of the photographic world do you stand? Which niche do you claim? What shaft of light do you passion for, wish to master? What vision and style is all yours to share with others? We are individuals as unique as raindrops and yet many of us in photography would rather master someone else's style, someone else's vision and call that a success.
I see it on all of the forums for photographers and even amongst my friends, people are constantly comparing their work to others and castigating their competition. They come off as petty whiners. If they can out Annie Liebowitz, Annie Liebowitz then they must be great photographers, right? The truth is that there is no real competition between photogs. As David talks about in his blog, nobody can fill your niche (Red X) like you. Every one of us brings a unique vision to our photography. Line 10 of us up and shoot a robin in a tree and you'll get ten hugely different shots of a bird, a tree, a leaf, the sky, a branch or a shoe. Why do so many photographers grrr at Ansel Adams out of jealousy and frustration? You couldn't fill his shoes. Admit to yourself, NO, you could not take his shots better. You know why? They're his shots, his vision, his style. Go find your own damn vision and shoot the hell out of it. The only person you need to be better than is yourself!
David makes another point in that post that I'm guilty of. If you're reading this blog then you've seen our website. According to our website, Shaun and I aren't out there as portrait photographers. We're not out there as travel photographers. We're not landscape artists. Our big red X is awefully diluded, by anyones standards. My dream is to be a portrait photographer. I believe I excel at portraiture. I love faces. I always have. I see something beautiful in every face. I hope my passion comes acrossed in my photography. But who could tell by looking at my site? The portrait gallery is one amongst many. For me, it's a quandry. Our site is a union between my husband and I. And we have two hugely varying visions, passions and pursuits when it comes to photography. To be a bigger success as a portrait artist does that mean I need my own site dedicated solely to portraiture? I think David Duchemin would say "absolutely!". Something for me to think about, and you!