Even in ancient times, poets and playwrights would constantly seek the approval of the public.
But as Horace said, “Don’t chase the votes of a fickle public.”
Rather, we should seek to please a few, rather than the masses.
We should seek to please ourselves. Because we are the most important people to please, and the most difficult to please.
That means don’t ask others whether your photos are good or not. Rather, be your own harshest critic.
Create your own ruler for yourself. Are you improving your photography in your own eyes? Are you taking your work to the next level? Are you avoiding personal mediocrity? Are you breaking through personal plateaus — or just keeping on doing the same thing?
Tips to avoid mediocrity in your photography
Here are some practical tips to avoid mediocrity in your personal photography:
- Kill your past self: Don’t think about your past projects, your past photos, or your past work. Always start each day “carte blanche” — with a blank slate, or a blank piece of paper. This will help you always have “beginner’s mind” and stay fresh.
- Prune more: Prune your photos, your portfolio. Only show your best. If your photos are less than spectacular (in your own eyes), don’t show them. You’re only as good as your weakest photo (that you decide to share).
- Find inspiration outside of photography: Don’t just look for inspiration in photography. Study the ancient poets, study the renaissance painters, or other artists from the past. This will help you “cross-pollinate” your creative ideas, and come up with something new and fresh.
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