Learning to deal with photographers who seem better than you:

adult backpack camera cloudy
Photo by Pok Rie on


Jealousy is a natural human trait.  We cannot ignore that fact.  I too have that, and I have learned to deal with it.  I have been involved in photography many years, and have realized that there are photographers living around me, who I think take better pictures than me.  But, they are at it full time, and I still have that stupid   J O B .   So, when I see the photos of other photographers who have been involved as long as me, and I think their photos are better than mine, I realize they have more time to take pictures than me.  So, they should have photos that look better than me.

When you get over that feeling of jealousy, that feeling of resentment, it can be a liberating experience. It will unclutter your mind, freeing up space so that you can put your mind back to creative work.  That is something I have learned to do, and you too, must learn to do that.  What is the reason you have the jealousy?  Is it that the other photographers have more time, like I feel?  Then get over it.  Is it that they have more money and bought more expensive equipment?  Then get over that too, because remember that in most cases it is the photographer, not the equipment that makes the photo.

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Photo by Min An on

Understanding how to react to these emotional stimuli in a positive way and therefore not upset your own creativity is the first step toward a liberated state of mind. To deal with these emotions, you need to have what is known as emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is not the same thing as being emotional. It may actually be the reverse.

To overcome jealousy, realize that there will always be people who are better than you. But there will always be people you have surpassed in skill or success. And that is what gives me a sense of well being.  When I go out and take photos, I can tell that my skill level is ok, and is better than a lot of other photographers.  Every time I go out and take photos, I actually am practicing the things I write in these blogs (so the teacher becomes the student).  And so, when I see the results, and post the photos, I realize that I am better than others as well.

seaport during daytime
Photo by Pok Rie on



One thing I will always try to remember as I work and see other’s photos is this:  realize that you can never control everything. You can try as hard as you can but there are always going to be elements that are beyond you.

If you really want to get the jealousy feeling out of your mind then do this one thing that another photographer has had with this same thing.  He  suggests a very interesting and gratifying way to take your mind out of the negative emotional mode: send out a compliment to a person whose work makes you jealous. That’s the single most powerful way to force your mind out of a negative frame of thinking.  There really is no need to feel jealous about some other person’s skill or how great their photos are, just remember that your photos are better than someone else’s.

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****  Article written by Lanny Cottrell for 123PhotoGo





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