Being truly competitive!
I often come across people who tell me "one day i'll be better than this or that photographer"..or "Don't share your business model with someone else" or "Don't hire people who want to be photographers..They will become what you are and offer what you offer at a lower rate and steal your business" and what not. Well the fact is I really don't care. Even if i have to, it would take up too much of my energy that i can spend into something that is much more productive and artistic to create something beautiful that would bring a smile on somebody's face. Yes i am very ambitious and i am a big dreamer and i live to fulfill my dreams. Am i competitive? No and Yes.
Expressing my view and featuring a few images from a shoot with my beautiful client Payal Kabre :)
So consider there is a batch of performers and they are given points according to the performance. Say below average performers are rated somewhere lesser than 30 points. Then there are some average lot at the range of 50-60. And then there are more than average performers given somewhere around 70s. Now the top of their game performers say Mr. A is at 95 and Ms. B topping the game at 108. So if you have to enter the game as a fresher where do you set your goal. So if you are really ambitious and competitive and you would enter in the goal as somewhere in 70s as a beginner and aim to cross the 108 mark eventually. You are all charged up and you are all set to beat them all which eventually you will because if you set the goal, have a clear vision of it, you will achieve it.
I'll tell you the problem i have with this system. In games, sports and other areas this might work effectively. Art = expressing yourself, expressing an idea. In art, how do you set your benchmark? There is no logic to it. There is no defined mark where you say - here you turn excellent. Techniques evolves and styles evolve. And they keep changing as you grow. Art is what comes out of you from heart. Artistically the number 108 wouldn't even be a number, it would be just a different design as to the number 30. Comparisons disappear in art. Yes you can constantly learn new techniques and ways to express yourselves through your art piece. But the idea is your creation and does it end there? No. You keep creating another idea and another one because you simply cannot stop. There is this rush of energy that you let it flow through you and it makes you unstoppable. You don't care about being better than your neighbor. And even if your neighbor is creating with his/her heart, it would make you happy that he/she is enjoying this process, this journey of creation and submerged into the joy of it. You create art that thrills you and you see the art that your neighbor created and its different from what you created. If its so good it inspires you, it gives you joy to see another perspective, another idea, another creation.
I set my own benchmarks. Yes i am competitive but with myself alone. I want to be better than what i was in my techniques so that i can express my vision through my art in a way that blows people's minds. I don't like the idea of limiting myself to a goal of 108 if i had the true potential of 1080 or 10800. My business runs on what i create as an artist. Yes, i have bills to pay, finances to take care of which i have to do. But what got me into business is that it would give me the freedom of creating more art and express myself more freely. I could create this beautiful experience for my clients, creating their portraits that they would love and cherish forever. When i can show my client how i see her through my eyes, how could there be competition? Only i have my vision. Another artist doing the same thing would have a different vision, a different perspective which is also very interesting to see.
I am an artist first and businessperson later. I have learnt whatever i know from photographers whose art has inspired me. The same people helped me with sharing their knowledge about how to make money doing what i love. The knowledge they shared created a better life for them too. They are getting in more business for themselves and earning a better income doing what they love. You give more, you receive more.
Showing how beautiful someone really is through my pictures is what drives me, transforming someone's view of how they see themselves is what drives me. Getting emotions out of people is what thrills me. Creating art that thrills me is what drives me. Constant learning feeds my soul. Constantly striving to be better than what i was in my techniques is what drives me. Techniques, guidelines, rules in art are just to help you express yourself in a more effective way. Art comes from the heart. If it comes from there, it sure will touch many more hearts! :) Go on and create heartfully and lovingly! We need more of it in this world!
Did you read -
- Getting inspired and a beautiful retro shoot dedicated to the 70s era!
- How to make sure you hire the best photographer for yourself or for your important day?
- 12 steps to Germinating the Seed of a Creative Idea! ..with a few beautiful faces i photographed in these few months.
- The real Freedom!