I debated on whether to post this or not but had I have chosen not to, that would have defeated the entire purpose of this writeup.
Everyone creative wants to be well-known. They want their Instagram follower count to rise above and beyond, they want their photos to have triple digit 'likes', they want that perfectly staged home filled with white walls and plants galore. They want what their favorite creative has.
There are so many trends within the photography industry that it's enough to make your head spin. Just when you think you've found your editing style, a new editing trend begins. You're determined to find out what preset so-and-so is using and once you figure it out, you shell out a few bones so that you can edit the same exact way. Months later, the process repeats itself.
There was a quote that I recently stumbled across that read, "In a world full of people trying to be like someone else, don't be one of them". Boom. Mic drop, right? That is exactly what I was doing...trying to follow trends I saw other photographers following. So much that it nearly became a job. And you know what? It sucked the fun out of doing what I loved so much.
The light and airy style, the dark and moody contrast, the rich yet desaturated greenery...they're all very beautiful ways of editing! However, it's hard for your work to stay consistent when you're following all of these trends.
Despite my efforts to keep up with these styles, I always found myself editing the same exact way; clean and bright. That's just my personal preference! I like for the colors in my photos to look exactly how they did when I saw them in person. I am drawn toward bright, bold, and happy. Those other ways I was editing just weren't me...and it nearly killed my love for photography.
It's okay to follow hundreds of other creatives! Showing your support and love for them is great! It's AWESOME to have a handful that you look up to and admire most. But be mindful of why you're following them. Ask yourself...am I following because they inspire me? Or am I following them to be just like them? Because there's a difference...
It was not until recently that I decided that I needed to make a change. It was discouraging to open up my Instragram app everyday and scroll through hundreds of photographs that each contained a different editing style. I was switching up my editing style nearly once a month trying to be like someone else. All these beautiful different styles pulling me in all different directions...how was it even possible for me to be UNIQUE when all I was doing was trying to be something I wasn't? I unfollowed hundreds. HUNDREDS. And it was not anything that they did wrong, either. It was for me to find me. It was so that I could focus on myself and not on everyone else. And guess what? It has been so refreshing.
So again! If you're a fellow creative using social media as a way to seek out inspiration, ask yourself: am I following because they inspire me? Or am I following them to be just like them? Because there's a difference...