Often we hear about a pseudo war: Seasoned Photographers vs. Incoming Newbies.
There are 2 sides to the issue: Those that are angry cameras are put into the hands of the masses, and those who are okay with the shifting market.
So many photographers who view themselves as successful yet not solidly so, see these new photographers coming into photography making mistakes just because they’re ignorant and no one’s told them otherwise. In fact some of the mistakes are ones the seasoned photographers made. Granted, there are many things new photographers can do, such as obtain a tax id, business license, charge sales tax, keep books and so on. But if they are genuinely doing their best to play by the rules, why are we trying to hit them before they’re even on their feet?
Do you want to know the secret? Whether they realize it or not, so many photographers are upset by these new photographers because…
…we are all jealous.
Now, not many photographers realize it—they may be angry, or upset, or bitter for some reason, but in the end, it comes down to jealousy, which is a manifestation of fear. We are jealous of the new-found talent, their passion for what we are burdened down about, at the continual praise they receive. Even if you yourself are quite new, you may look at other fellow newbies and see their “success” against the lack of yours.
Julia Cameron, in her book The Artist’s Way, covers a vast majority of topics, one of which is jealousy. “At its root, jealousy is a stingy emotion. It doesn’t allow for the abundance and multiplicity of the universe. Jealousy tells us there is room for only one—one poet, one painter, one whatever you dream of being.”
We see the immediate and lavish praise new photographers are getting from their friends and family, for photos that in our view aren’t even good. We foolishly think them getting praise for their journey is diminishing our ability to receive praise. They are receiving what we think we are deserving of.
But jealousy is lethal, if not corrected. Jealousy is taking poison while waiting for the other person to die.
So what can we do?
Cameron suggests to make a Jealousy Map: turn that emotion into ACTION.
3 columns: who you are jealous of, why (be specific), and an action to move you forward to your goals and out of jealousy.
Make a plan of action to conquer that jealousy, and then get to WORK. You’ll be amazed how much time you spend worrying about what other people are doing, and if you just do a small list of tasks, the act of DOING solves your problems much faster than you ever imagined. In Julia Cameron’s words, “…action holds the key to our freedom.” There is power is getting out there and DOING specific things to drive you closer to your goal.
Rejoice in yourself, and let others have their successes. Someday you’ll get to a point where you can even be glad for them and their accomplishments. Their success won’t feel like a threat to you. Besides, aren’t we here for the enjoyment of photography in the first place?