Shoot for Yourself and Your Clients, Not Other Photographers

The Internet is wonderful and terrible and I love it and hate it. With easy access to the opinions of thousands of people, it can be easy to get sucked into trying to please other photographers out there instead of the people you should be focusing on: yourself and your clients.

Coming to you from Chris Ord Photography, this great video talks about the trap almost all of us have fallen into one time or another: shooting to please the masses on the Internet. While there's certainly nothing inherently wrong with putting your work in front of other photographers, at the end of the day, they're not the ones paying your bills. And of course, that's not to say that you can't gain something useful from those other photographers; the beauty of the Internet is the ability to instantly connect with talented creatives willing to share their experience and advice with you, but there's also a ton of static you have to tune out, which can be hard to do sometimes. Consider the source when you get feedback (good or bad). I always recommend finding a few photographers whose opinions you really value and sticking with what they have to say. 

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Mike Kelley's picture

This is why I don't follow too many other photographers on social media.

It's not personal, and I still think you're a great guy/girl. I just don't want to be constantly judged and comparing myself to you and your work and vice versa

At the end of the day - I want to do what makes me happy and pays the bills. The more I do this, the more I just think "hey, I like that, I'm gonna put it out there, and that's what the client hired me to do..." rather than "let's get feedback from a bunch of other photographers who know little to nothing about the conditions encountered on the assignment or the needs of the client.."

David Penner's picture

The problem with instagram is people dont really give criticism. You cant really tell if what you are doing is good other then going by likes but most of the time if something is getting a lot of likes doesnt mean its actually good.

Ralph Hightower's picture

Offer constructive criticism. Offer suggestions for improvement based on your knowledge and experience., Don't just say "This sucks".