"Kindness makes you the most beautiful person in the world, no matter what you look like."
"Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and be kind even when you don't feel like it."
"Your words hold power, so make sure when you speak you uplift instead of putting down."
Tons of great quotes I could use for this blog post. The inspiration to write about cultivating kindness came from following The Rising Tide Society, created by fellow photographer Natalie Franke, and other astounding photogs like Julie Paisley and Sam Stroud, photographers who are both openly and outwardly encouraging creatives to work together and inspire each other, and put kindness before competition.
Unfortunately that obnoxious little competitive voice in my head sometimes gets to me and makes me feel pretty much worthless. Ya know, that voice saying you're not good enough, you should just give up now and crawl in to a hole, and eat an entire chocolate cake while you're there? Well, I've decided that voice can just go to you-know-where, because I'm really sick of him and he isn't helping me in any way. In fact, he's making me backpedal. I'm choosing to ignore him from this point on.
Living in a tiny town like Homer, Alaska it can be easy to view other photographers as competition. And why not? We're all shooting for more clientele and there are only so many people in this town. But I can tell you one thing from working with other photographers here; they rock. I am so thankful that people enjoy my work and support me, but for fellow photographers to also support me and choose to work with instead of against me, that means everything. Competition tears you down, community builds you up. Competing with other photographers will only isolate you and stunt your own artistic growth.
So, here's my little bit of advice, especially for new photographers.. Only compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Keep progressing in your own art and your own character. Pursue your best self, speak kind words, love yourself and others and you will be headed in the right direction.
P.S. my sign is from Oodalolly! It definitely serves as my daily reminder.