Shoot for yourself, according to your own standards. Get the shot no matter what.
First of all, you must be an independent photographer. Don’t be tied down with a collective, don’t be a slave to Instagram, and don’t care whether others like your photos. Don’t seek to make photos that will impress others. Seek to make photos that you love; photos which others actually might disdain!
When lots of people say they like your photos, don’t get blinded. Still strive to be objective and cold with your photos.
Selfish doesn’t mean evil
If someone calls you “selfish”, what they mean to say is that you’re “evil”.
This is a silly notion. The best thing is to be selfish; to be self-centered, and self focused. Why? Because it means you will be authentic, independent, and not strive to curry the favor from others. This means you will be able to seek joy and happiness within yourself, by yourself, without needing to impress others.
In other words, by being selfish, you don’t need to kiss the asses of others.
Judge your own photos
This is the problem I had with my photography in the past:
I only thought the photo was good if others thought it was good.
But why do you value the opinions of others over your own opinion?
Treat your play very seriously
To me, photography is fun, and like playing! Every child loves to play. Yet, why is it that we lose the capacity to play as adults? That the only justified activity is work?
Photos only have merit when they’re created in a spirit of play.
In other words, the mindset of the child is true wisdom.
Would you still create photos if nobody else would see them?
Imagine you’re in a spaceship, going to Mars, and you’re the only one in the ship.
Would you still make photos, even though you would be the only one to look at them?
If so, you know that your source of creative power is authentic. You’re making photographs for the right reasons.
Do you like looking at your own photos?
Only create photos that you imagine down the line, you will actually like to look at!
To me, if you shoot a photograph without ever intending to look at it in the future, it is pointless. The purpose of shooting a photograph is the possibility of looking at it in the future, and that in the future, looking at this photograph is going to bring you delight.
We often delight by looking at the artwork of others. But do you delight in looking at your own artwork?