The Best Advice for an Artist in an Industry of Imitation

I took a break from blogging for the past week because I spent the majority of it at a professional conference in Nashville, TN. And I still haven’t perfected the art of blogging in advance.But I’m working on it.

Anyway, while I was gone, I spent a three days sitting in classes and learning about business, photography, and marketing from some of the most well-respected professionals in my industry. Yet the most profound thing that I took away wasn’t a new technique, skill, or trend… it was simply to be ME.

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See, this is an industry where it’s all too easy to be just like everyone else. To do exactly what industry leaders tell you to do… just like everyone else. And before you know it, your business is just one of a thousand identical businesses. Commodities. All poor, dim reflections of an original they’ll never quite be.

So let’s separate ourselves from the masses. Let's worry less at what other people are doing and focus more on the unique task The Lord has called us to. Let’s turn our attention to artists in all genres and away from our peers and other wedding photographers. Let’s continue to develop our own personal styles by practicing our craft daily and doing art for art’s sake. Let’s do personal projects. Let’s be less concerned about whether or not people like what we do. Because art is subjective.

Let’s rebel against imitation.

“People are in a hurry to magnify themselves by imitating what is popular - and too lazy to think of anything better. Hurry ruins saints as well as artists. they want quick success, and they are in such a haste to get it that they cannot take time to be true to themselves.” - Thomas Merton