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With photography being part of our lives like never before ,and with millions of photos being taken every single day ,the question of originality in this medium is legitimate.. It has been said by many that there is absolutely no way to create anything new, anything that hasn’t been done or, at least, tried in the past.
There are a number of ways to look at this because never before have there been so many photographers out there. Many have never tried being original, others strive to be one of a kind and find themselves frustrated by never achieving it .Some settle for simply copying the work of others and finding satisfaction in technical abilities alone.
The desire for originality is rooted in each of us. We all want to stand out at some point , both as individuals and through our work. And it is indeed crucial for a successful photographer to have a personal style that can easily be identified from others.
But here is where I believe many go wrong while trying to achieve a fresh and personal style in photography.
I believe each of us should shift our focus from trying to be innovative to being authentic. Authenticity is in each of us and instead of trying to be original by taking inspiration form the work of our peers, we should all look deeper inside our being and let that come through. Finding your inner voice is one of the hardest things any creative person will do. We are being bombarded daily with visual stimulants and distractions that keep us from putting what we really are into our work. This is not to say that seeking inspiration in others is a bad thing. On the contrary, there is much to be learned from our peers.
However, being different means being yourself. As each of us is one of a kind, why shouldn’t our work be? You might not be the first to shoot a certain subject or have a specific idea, but you can be the first to shoot your way. Here I believe lies the difference between being original and authentic. It doesn’t really matter if what you’re doing has been done by others before you. As long you are in fine tune with yourself, your work can and will stand out by means of personal touch. You might end up doing something that’s never been done before, but that again, you might not. It doesn’t really matter. What matters at the end of the day, is to make sure that every good photo you take could have been taken only by you, in your specific way. I know it’s a lot easier said than done, but the fact is, the more you work at it and the more you build yourself as a creative, the closer you will get to being authentic.
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