Recently I wrote on Instagram about how I un followed over 50 people. I un followed people that inspire me, because I realized they were ruining my creativity and thus ruining my business. No matter how hard you try on social media you are constantly being influenced in some sort of way whether it is positive or negative. I love following and supporting other photographers and people I would consider my photography "idols", but that is where the problem lies. I will see a project or image from my favorite photographer that makes me wish I was them and wish I was creating that content. That mindset of comparison kills your creativity and inspiration. It is hard to avoid copying others because so much is out there already.
One of my favorite photographers did similar to something I had written down in my "ideas" journal. I first thought, oh no! Now I can't do that or I will be copying her. When of course in reality my execution, editing, models, locations, etc would have been different thus looking nothing like her shoot. But in the past that would have stopped me from creating, from doing anything and I would have kept looking on Instagram or a blog and be fed beautiful work that in the end makes me not create more art. So in reality I am not inspired by those other photographers, I am jealous and I stop shooting because of fears of copying. Even now realizing that my shoot will come out so much different than hers I will compare it to that shoot, or accidentally do a similar pose because that photo has been in my mind subconsciously. I still follow a few photographers that do different work than me or friends that have a different style than me so I just admire them but do not have any fear of comparison.
Since then I have been shooting more, trying new things, new ideas, and new poses. I am drawing inspiration from myself, movies, music, other art, nature, colors, etc. I think in the beginning as a photographer it is important to look at others and try what they're doing to see what you like and don't like and to create your own style. But as you grow there comes a point where you need to no longer take inspiration from them and start being inspire by your own work.
This is work from my latest shoot, where I tried different things that pushed me out of my comfort zone. I hope to keep improving and making myself proud of my work instead of feeling like I am not being authentic to me. Let me know your own thoughts and experiences with social media and if you think it can be harmful at times for artists!