Why do we need someone’s opinion or advice? I believe for a very simple reason – to see what we are doing from a completely different angle, not being too emotional about our problems, failures and mistakes. And most important being able to distant ourselves from ourselves in order to see more clearly.
In these series Advice to Myself I am going to do exactly what I wanted to do for a long time – to distant myself from myself and look at some of my problems more clearly. I also hope that it may help someone. If that happens I would be happy.
The best advice about photography – I am going to talk a lot about it – I got it from David Duchemin, a fantastic photographer. I have never met him but I read his book 60 Lessons for stronger photographs a few years ago.
His advice was straight forward; if you’re serious about your craft and your art, then consider getting off the online forums as fast as you can. Why? Because you would listen to voices who would not be helpful, who may even hurt and discourage you from what you are doing.
I left recently Flickr. I left it for many reasons, one of them that I lost inspiration.
There are a lot of talented photographers on Flickr and there are photographers like me who don’t have much talent and opportunities and who try hard to do what they like to do. I found myself in a minority. That is not bad but it’s not good either.
Being in a minority makes you feel insecure about what you are doing. Thus, one day on Flickr I have a few new followers and another some people unfollow me. I used to wonder what is going on and then I stopped to wonder. I became quiet cynical about followers, about the numbers of favorites and the comments. I also became insecure about my own photography. I stopped to like what I was doing.
I think that the online social forums and the places like Flickr and Instagram in some ways are killing our creativity. They make us feel very insecure.
I like the advice which I am going to give myself today. It came from Eric Kim:
If people start unfollowing you, you are doing something right.
And I would love to add – something innovating.