Why am I on this subject!?!?!
First and foremost, this isn't a rant of any sorts. This is a professional intervention on my own soul or anyone else out there that does photography and is reading this or lost their way in their path. Reading this will make you think that I'm being a jerk, however, the last thing I'm here to do is knock anyone's hustle. Do you...I'm doing me!
First example: It was a chilly day in early December 2016, here in Colorado. I get this text message from one of my photographer buddies that resides in another state (keeping this anonymous as possible, in order to maintain my professionalism). It was a cell phone screenshot from one of his clients of a conversation that another photographer was having with the client. The content of the text was all about doing a photo shoot with the person, and at the end of the guilt tripping conversation, the photographer stated that they "like to shoot people first". After the client politely turned down their request to do a photo at that time, the photographer states, "But I'm supposed to be the best around lol".
Second example: A photographer posted today in March 2017, that they were "The best at high fashion, creative art!" While I strongly believe that it's good marketing to say that you're the best, but then again, you have to prove it on a consistent basis.
Reading those words really disturbed me inside. Not many people know this, but I once had a conversation with a young photographer years ago via a social media outlet. The guy asked me a ton of questions and then asked me why do I like photography so much. I told him that, "I just love the feeling of being behind the camera and creating bad ass shots to the best of my ability, and one day I hope to become ONE of the best". "ONE of the best", quickly turned into a full-blown argument about how I needed to be more humble. I was clearly speaking to someone who had mistaken my future goal without thinking. One is a goal, and the other is simply your current attitude. Needless to say, I no longer speak to this young, negative photographer due to maturity issues. I keep my goals to myself until they're accomplished, and when I do, it's usually out of my mind within a few hours because I'm on to the next project for my clients.
Maybe it's just me from my military and family background, but I've noticed that there's a lot of people that claim they're "the best". Being a Marine I remember everyone wanted a title. and that was from the rank of Private all the way to General. Most titles that I've seen as a civilian are all self-proclaimed. and carry no true weight or merit. Here's the take on how I feel about myself all the time. I am not the best, and I'm far from it. I am however consistent. Anyone who tells you that they're the best (especially in photography) is insecure. I am determined, motivated, intuitive, goal oriented, and experienced in accomplishing tasks in a timely manner for over 20+ years. I ask you, "Why should you hire me?" because I let my work speak for itself. Just because others claim to be something it doesn't mean that they are...it's just talk...additional noise. I block out the noise and concentrate on the competition that's within myself and push myself to get better at my craft; that'll ensure my clients get bad ass work and I continue to grow.