Dear friend,

It doesn’t matter if someone else has shot it before; you haven’t shot it before!

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Try it out for yourself!

I think the worst advice that someone can tell you is:

“Don’t work on that photography project, it has already been done before.”

Ignore them. You haven’t done it before!


Ignore nay sayers

This line of reasoning is like if someone told Elon Musk,

People have already designed cars, thus you should never start your own car company.

Or imagine if people told Steve Jobs,

IBM has already made the PC. You shouldn’t make a Macintosh computer.


Foolishness and ignorance is essential to creating something new

Blurry Cindy, uji, flash

Innovation thrives on us being a bit foolish, and being (partially) ignorant of the things which have come before us.

Photographers and individuals who know too much from the past and history often become paralyzed, and cannot create new things, because they feel like “everything has already been done before/shot before.”

Buds

But consider, what if the poetry student never would attempt another new poem because “Shakespeare has already done all the good poetry.” That would be silly.

Regardless of whatever you pursue in life, realize— you will always do it differently, in your own style, in your own light. Thus, never let any nay-sayers get in your way of trying out something new for yourself.


What is true originality in photography?

Cindy sunset, uji, Kyoto.

As a photographer, realize that in terms of subject matter, objects, and places, almost everything has been shot before. But it doesn’t matter — true originality as a photographer comes more from:

  1. How you edit and sequence your project
  2. The concept behind your photography project
  3. The variations of subject matter within your project
  4. The compositions, framing, and angles, and perspective you use in your photography project
  5. How close you are to your subjects, or far away
  6. The soul you put into your photos

It is impossible to copy someone else 100%

Orange house sunset. Urban landscape., uji kyoto

Also consider, whenever you make a photograph of anything, the atoms, the light, the colors, the textures —everything will always be different! It is physically impossible to replicate a certain photograph 100%.

My practical suggestion is this:

Find inspiration from those in the past, but don’t become their slave.

There is still much new roads for you to pave, explore, and innovate in!

That means, turn a (partial) blind eye to the masters of the past, and pursue your own unique view in photography and life.

BE BOLD,
ERIC


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