We walked through the streets of San Francisco when I stopped dead in my tracks. I saw the window display from a distance, but the closer I got, the more I realized it revealed a really ugly side of my heart: Jealousy. Straight-up, shaken, and dirrrrty. In the window display was six oversized photos of a model. And the photos? They were remarkable.
JD tugged on my hand when he realized I had stopped walking beside him. He was hungry and wanted breakfast, and all I wanted was to be someone else. He asked me what was wrong. I'll never be as good as X…I'll never see the way he does…I can never shoot like him…it's just not in me… Quizzically he debated getting into the conversation there on Pine Street or over an omelet ten minutes later. He knew what I meant. And it's a long story.
Lately I've been struggling with the merits of my own work and my photographic style. I look to others in this amazing industry and I envy their ability to document life in a way I simply don't know how. And the window display reminded me of a friend's work who I absolutely love…work I will never be able to capture like he does. Then JD reminded me of something…
We all have our own unique abilities. Don't focus on what others can do, but, rather, what you can do to make yourself better. You taught yourself photography, and you're getting better each day…don't envy his work. Appreciate his work. And appreciate yours.
And there it was. The Truth. Simple appreciation of other work that inspires me to get better…and appreciation of how far I've come. Flaws and all.