The imitation game, or, On Selling Out

I wouldn’t say you should completely scrap your own vision, but in my experience, you need to “sell out” to a certain extent if you want to keep up with the game. People like what they’ve seen before, what they’re familiar with. People like trends. Everything today is connected, and to stay relevant you need to tap into that interconnectedness.

So how does one follow a trend, you ask? Here’s an “in-depth” guide:

Step 1: Inform yourself: follow photographers you look up to /vibe with on Instagram, along with giant reposting accounts, and see what they’re doing and what they’re posting.

Step 2: Take a specific trend you find. Something that you notice recurring across multiple accounts. Now imitate it, but with your own fresh take. Or in other words, just shoot what you’d shoot anyway and work in the trend somehow.

Step 3: When the trend becomes irrelevant, get out of there and go back to Step 1.

If you’re looking to go more in the direction of artistic/independent photography, then you might have to work a bit harder at forging your own path, and keep expectations low in terms of recognition for your efforts, since your work might never catch on or become widely known. That’s when it’s most important to learn how to be satisfied with your work.