I came across this photographer’s portfolio today, and it’s absolutely fantastic. She’s got the eye, the talent, the Photoshop skills, a fan base, she’s almost pro, and she’s basically got everything going for her. She’s also six years my junior, but uhh, who’s counting? *makes a concentrated effort not to sulk*
While I’m browsing, I stumble upon a photo that looks remarkably like one of mine… at least in concept. The difference being that her execution is pristine, flawless, dramatic, gorgeous, and mine is… well… not so much. Hers: OMG+FAV. Mine: Pbbbbt.
Then I realize, “Oh crap, I just added this person as a favorite on Flickr, and on the off-chance that she actually takes a look at my portfolio, she’s going to find a photo that basically looks like a knockoff of something she’s already done. Brilliant.”
So I take my photo down. Immediately.
Is that weird? Am I being paranoid? The similarity was really too close for comfort. It should go without saying that I would never, ever blatantly rip someone off, but she doesn’t know that, and I’m sure she’s got people stealing her ideas right and left. I wouldn’t look much different from one of those people, even though I come by my ideas honestly. Is that knowledge enough for the Internets, where copyright is such a thorny issue? I’m guessing not.
Then I start feeling a little sad, a little dumb, like, “Why do I bother doing this when there are other people who have the same exact ideas and do them so much better?” And here we go, down and down the never-ending spiral of self-doubt. Wheee, it’s a fun trip, kiddies.
Yes, I know that there will always be someone better, that I’m not trying to win any prizes, that I can’t let things like this discourage me, blah blah blah. To all you positive thinkers out there, I say, give me a moment or six to brood.
… annnd I just sold three prints. If you’ve ever asked yourself the question, “How long does it take one to come out of a self-induced artistic funk?” the answer is, “The time it takes for someone else to hit the ‘Buy now’ button.”
Just in case it ever comes up on Jeopardy, y’know.