When I was traveling with my family in Vietnam, there was a saying among the Vietnamese when they would describe similar items you were looking to purchase…”same, same”. Meaning this is just like the other product, no need to buy there, when you can buy here, same, same. The world of digital photography sometimes feels this way to me. I know we all get ideas from each other as humans, as photographers, as artist. The strive for me to be who I am as an artist and different from the rest has become extremely challenging. Steamboat Springs went from 10 full time photographers eight years ago, to 100 part time photographers today (this is my rough estimate:), so you can see the challenge right there in our small community. One photographer uses textures in their photographs, another one is doing the same thing the next day. One photographer shoots next to a grungy old building, that same building then a hot spot to shoot senior portraits.
Being a photographer my whole life and in the industry almost 2 decades professionally, has just got me thinking about all the changes.
Back in my days of shooting film for my wedding and portrait session, I didn’t feel this same way. I think the whole age of digital has got us looking at each other work 24/7. Which is a great way to get inspired, but I think it is so important to be true to who you are and be respectful of others work. Today I tend to not pay attention to what others are doing and follow my own path of what feels good to me and what my clients are looking for when they hire me. I love the felling of NOT being “same same” and this feeling is what got me in the industry at a young age of 14.
Now there is plenty of business to be had for every photographer out there (I have had to turn business away this summer), which is a blessing for all of us to do what we love. Get out there and be unique!