Make photos to impress yourself– photos that when you look at them, you say:
“I can’t believe I made that photo!”
This is the simple idea:
You’re the most important to impress.
You want to impress yourself with your own strength, ability, and artwork.
Imagine like someone else made the photograph
As a photographer, seek to make photos that impress you.
That means ask yourself this question:
If someone else made this photograph, would I be impressed by it?
You’re a visual artist
Often I will look at some of the photographs I made, and I go:
“Wow, that is a pretty epic photo.”
As a visual artist, seek to impress yourself with your own images.
Social media is herd mentality (sheeple)
This is the problem with modern photography:
Through the mind and behavior-manipulating social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, etc), we get suckered into trying to impress others.
It’s my theory that in the past, artists didn’t care as much for mass appeal, or popularity. I think past artists were competitious with one another. But these were great artists (consider Raphael vs Leonardo vs Michelangelo) who used one another as positive competition.
Yet with social media, we are trying to compete with Justin Bieber and Kim K for popularity. No longer is it enough for us to impress our small circle of fellow photography friends and colleagues, we are trying to impress the whole world.
Critique and judge yourself
To critique means to judge. Judge yourself and your own visual imagery and artistry. Never look over your shoulder and care whether others are applauding you.
If you can make photographs which impress yourself, that is sufficient.
How to be more individual
- Delete your Instagram, and start building up your own photography website/blog (don’t use “free” photography or social media platforms)
- Spend more time looking at your own photographs, and keep curating and editing down your body of work.
- Keep making new photos which impress you.