Finding Your Unfair Advantage

In a time when photography has become more popular than ever, how do you stand out from the pack?

This is one of the greatest questions affecting photographers today.  The boom of user-friendly DSLR’s and technical schools’ available information has produced a crop of new, doe-eyed artists desperate to break into a field that seems to hold endless opportunities.  Yet there are those who rise above the perpetual chaos to make names for themselves whilst running successful businesses.

If you look in the comments’ sections of articles featuring images from these rising great artists, you will unfortunately be greeted with phrases like these:

“I made a picture just like that one,” followed by sub-par quality image of similar theme.

 “I really like what he’s going for but the quality could be better, (insert snarky and most likely incorrect suggestion about how to improve the photo).”

“Hello so and so, I really like your work.  Everyone should come check out mine, (insert  link to personal portfolio).”

 “I don’t see what the big deal is about this.”

Fairness is About Perspective

What these people are actually declaring in their all too common and ill-advised comments is that they believe the attention that photographer XYZ is getting is unfair, and they are looking for a quick way to gain their equally “unfair advantage.”  What these rude people don’t understand is that there are a few legitimate reasons some photographers get noticed and others don’t.  For example, those who get noticed have three prominent qualities:

They Have a Well-Crafted Artistic Voice

They Work Their Asses Off

They Meet the Right People

Now, the order of this matters a great deal.  If you don’t have a unique style, or exhibit something that no one else has, why would people notice you?  In basic terms, if you’re standing in a room full of people wearing red shirts, with one person wearing a purple shirt, the purple shirt clad person is undoubtedly more noticeable.

So here’s the fun part:

Sit down and find what it is about you and your vision that can give you the edge.  What will separate you and your brand from the bunch?  Look at yourself and your work thoroughly.  Examine the things that make YOU stand out.

What are they?

Once you have those answers, spend your time mastering them by working harder than you’ve ever worked in your life!   Grow and grow your artistic voice, get noticed by the right people, and before you know it, you’ll have a so-called “unfair advantage” too.   

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