Above: Image, Gina Milicia
If you place a diamond in a sea of caca, it will stand out, right? But what happens if you take that same diamond and put it in a sea of diamonds? Our little diamond has now lost its sparkle. Standing out in a saturated photography market is difficult if you are a diamond in a sea of diamonds. Your work is excellent, you may be technically proficient and know how to shoot in a style that all the cool kids are using.
You study the lighting, posing and editing techniques of your peers and your work is just as good and sometimes your work looks better.
The problem with this approach is that your work may be great, but you become a diamond in a sea of diamonds. Your work looks just like everybody else’s.
Don’t get me wrong here, looking like a diamond is nothing to be sniffed at but if you want to stand out, you need to be different.
“The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen before.” – Albert Einstein
If you aim to be just like everybody else, no matter how amazing everybody else is, then you will always be one of many. If you want to stand out, you need to find your point of difference.
This could be the way you light, lens choice, camera angles, cropping, subject matter or a combination of all these elements.
“Be yourself; everybody else is taken.”
The best way to be unique is to find your authentic voice. Everything you have experienced, loved and hated to this point will be part of your unique style. Experiment, take risks and don’t be afraid to fail.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
– Robert Frost