The photographer as a farmer. Just do the work.

Crocs for the dirty work.

It's easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself with others. It's easy to fall into the no win situation of comparing your work with the work of everyone else's you see. Some work is exciting to look at when you first see it. Some work grows on you over time. Things you thought were exciting at first blush have a parabola of excitement. The faster you fall in love with a look, a statement or a style the faster you fall out of love. Who would want a constant diet of whipped creme or a constant display of fireworks?

Your own style is more like a marriage than a one night stand. You build trust and love over time until you get to a point where you can't conceive of any other relationship. In art, then you know you have a style. You trust the process of just doing the work. This is why, statistically, married people have a much better sex life than single people. Practice, practice, practice.

The problem with the web is that we post things and hope others will like them. When you do this you give strangers power over your work and over you. The true masters of the craft ignore everything else. They do their work and then they walk away. They do their work and then get up the next morning and do it again. They don't read the reviews. They just Practice, practice, practice.
Share your work but leave your ego at the door. Present the work and then step away. The need for approval obscures the true value of what you do. 

These statements seem like declarations but they are just reminders I write for myself. Good work, like good wine, takes time to mature. It's not a process I can hurry along just because I want to. Copying someone else's vision is the quickest way to kill mine.