Why photographers should be more competitive
Let’s unpack it together in this photography tutorial.
How to be more competitive as a photographer – & why
Thoughts on the creative community and healthy competition
Learn how to be more competitive as a photographer in healthy and helpful ways.
In this tutorial, Sean Tucker shares his thoughts on artists and competition and why creative people should have a competition mindset.
How to be more competitive as a photographer, and why you should!
Photography community can seem to be a tight pack, limiting each other by being threatened by others doing better than them. Letting this threat cause them to back down and isolate themselves in their art.
Why you probably avoid being more competitive as a photographer…
Maybe you have felt used by other creatives who aggressively tried to climb past you on the ladder and it caused you to withdrawn. Competition has been known to cause nasty rivalries and negative behaviours in people.
Healthy boundaries are ok, of course. You don’t need to engage in negative threads or bullying situations.
But, if you see yourself becoming suspicious, withdrawing and backing down in the art community, you might actually be missing out.
When competition is done less as negative rivalry and more as creative friendships it can create a space for growth and sharing that impact you in positive ways.
What is competition?
Competition has been muddled with negative connotations and perceptions.
But it actually simply means going after something together (Com-Petere in Latin).
As a photographer, you are trying to find your most authentic creative expression and grow in your skills. And so is everyone else.
Instead of seeing everyone else as someone who might take an opportunity from you, or push you down, or potentially out skill you, shift your mindset to what competition is in it’s true form.
Seeing other artists as partners to do the journey with. To grow with, create with, challenge each other, and support each other.
Why should you be more competitive as a photographer?
Competition, when done in the right way, can strengthen and encourage all of the people involved. Creative friendships make for great spaces to glean wisdom, skills, and helpful criticism.
An example of this Sean shared is writers J.R.R. Tolkien and CS Lewis.
They were both writing their respective fantasy series at the same time for the same kind of audiences which could have made them enemies and not want to meet each other.
However, they met regularly to talk about their books, share ideas, and critique their work over a meal. This is a prime example of the true definition of competition – competitor friends sharpening each other as they create.
This strengthened both of their writings and made for a healthy competitive space.
You can do this too, with your photography community in person or online.
How to be more competitive as a photographer – in a good way
Engage in healthy criticism of others work – and let them critique yours. Take their feedback on board and see how much better you will get as a photographer!
Challenge others and let them challenge you to be better and create better art. The best ways to learn are through mistakes, so let your community help you see them and grow!
Surround yourself with other photographers who do the same thing as you.
For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, get other wedding photographer friends! Join a group online or get contacts of other local wedding photographers and start a community.
You might be competing for the same clients, but you will also be able to share your struggles and your victories with like minded creators.
Instead of aggressive, jealous competition, creative friendships in competitive spaces are valuable.
Think about your own mindset around competition and if you need to rethink how you see other photographers. You might be missing out on challenging friendships that will help you grow as an artist!
Want to improve your photography skills to compete better? Check out this comprehensive guide!
Which of these points will you apply in your life to be more competitive as a photographer?
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