I have been working as a professional fashion photographer for some time now, but it was not always this way. There was a time when like some of you, I was just starting out my career. At that point in life I had just one goal, and that was to become a famous fashion photographer. I wanted to work with the leading fashion houses, and models; and I wanted to achieve endless success. At that age what I wasn’t aware of was that with success comes responsibility.
In the first few years of my career in fashion photography I saw many great photographers burn out due to simple mistakes. Which is why I decided to set two golden rules for myself “Rule number 1: be yourself, and rule number 2: be proud” this was just for me, and everything I would feel myself slipping, I would tell myself this. That I am one of a kind, there is no one else like me, therefore only I can achieve the greatness I have set for myself.
The concept of rule number 1 and rule number 2 came from my childhood, as I had a strong personality, even then I was always told to be myself, and to be proud of myself. Which taught me that nothing in life comes from being similar. Just because something someone did sell well does not mean you start mass producing the idea. It means you should use that as a benchmark, and grow on it.
Even when I just got into photography I want to change the world with my photographs, I was so torn on the idea of revolutionizing the fashion industry that I kept searching for new ideas. I was on a search you see, the search to find something unique, something that is mine. And when I achieved it, I wanted more. I took inspiration from those who came before me, but never replicate their ideas; but to allow their ideas to inspire some of my own. They say the more you see, the more you learn, and that is exactly what I did.
[pullquote] “Rule number 1: be yourself, and rule number 2: be proud” [/pullquote]
Producing something outstanding that sells does not mean you stick to it, it means the world is watching you; and it is now the perfect time to do something outstanding and blow their minds. And that is exactly what I did, time after time; I never settled. Even now I keep telling myself, this is great, but that comes next. The idea is to keep pushing yourself, and to help you achieve the world.
I see so many talented photographers make the same mistakes today, they produce something great and they feel that is enough to create a legacy. A single image is not your legacy, your legacy is every image that touched a human being. Every image that made a difference. Your legacy is not something you decide, it is something the world decides for you. So be unique, be yourself, be unorthodox, but remember there is a line between sane and insane. Keeping these little things in mind will allow you to be great, and once you have achieved that greatness; I suggest you take a moment and then get right back to working on something much bigger, bolder, and better.