I am a fiercely competitive person. Not in everything just things that are important to me.
Being competitive means different things to different people. With the arts it’s hard to quantify success. In business it means the most profit. In sports, the quickest, the strongest, etc.
In the arts what does it mean to be successful. To some it’s recognition. Having the most followers on Facebook or Twitter is a gauge for some. For others including me that is the farthest thing from my mind.
Getting thousands of followers is not something that usually happens by accident. It’s work to get recognized by the public at large. Maybe I’m too lazy? Maybe I just could care less about being popular?
Perhaps we’re born one way or the other because I have always chosen the path less traveled. My music was never mainstream. My clothing was for a while let’s just call it different. LOL
I have always wanted to do my best. That is what makes me competitive. Seeing others photos has always been a great motivation. For all the photos that have had me do a double or triple take I can’t think of one that I made a conscious effort to emulate. There are a few landscape shooters whose body of work I admire but the last thing I will ever do is outright try to photograph the same thing the same way they do. A very creative fellow that I worked with many years ago was blessed with the gift of creativity. In the space of a few minutes he could come up with a half dozen great concepts. That’s the hard part. Executing any kind of photo when it comes down to it is mechanical. There is a formula that if understood and followed makes it easy to get “great looking” images.
Making your “great looking” images different from everyone else is the difficult part. Every once in a while when shooting outdoors I get struck with one of those eureka moments. It’s like wow, why have I never done/thought of this before?
The leaders are usually the ones who aren’t afraid to be different and try to NOT be like everyone else. The risk, it’s not really a risk is that you won’t become popular. To that I say, big deal.
The road less traveled has always been the one that has welcomed me.