I'm in desperate need of some advice that concerns my friend, who took up photography just this past year. My friend is good at it, is a people person, and seems to have a natural knack for this field. But it's killing ME. Being a shy person, photography was the only way I could connect with people. Now due to her new profession, I've become a wallflower in the field I once flourished in. Friends are now looking to her for sessions. I had a hard enough time trying to stand out with all the other photographers in my area, but this just hurts.
I don't want to have this feeling of bitterness towards my friend. I've tried to look past it and work with her, but it always turns out feeling like a competition. I've become so resentful and frustrated that I've considered selling my gear and giving up. Do I need to move across the country to get out of her shadow?
For just one second, I want to remove your friend from the equation. In fact, let's remove everything from the equation (your friend, her new career as a photographer, people inquiring for her services) and focus on one thing: YOU. Often times we look at situations in their entirety and feel overwhelmed by the complexity of it all, but what's important is to only see what you can change. That's the only thing that matters.
You can't change your friend. You can't change her natural talent as a photographer. You can't change her booking rate. But you can change your outlook.
I'd heavily suggest taking a few weeks to hunker down and spend time healing from your hurt. You may have to do this alone, but that's okay. Focus on falling in love with your camera, your talent, and your drive. What I think is happening is you're getting caught up with looking at everything she has that you're not looking at what you can do better. Sure, you might be shy, but you can attract a very different client than she can. You might offer better client care and timely correspondence. You might have to work harder getting clients, but you'll also work harder at keeping them too.
You won't be able to have clients who love you if you don't love yourself. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy” but I also think comparison is the thief of love. For yourself. Take time to find things you're good at, and focus solely on those as you work toward realigning your attention on your craft…and not what anyone else is doing.
Get rooted my sweet wallflower,