The Comparison Monster: Who Should You Compare Yourself to? | A Look Down Memory Lane

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Welcome to the blog! I am an international wedding + portrait photographer that has a huge heart for traveling! I'm also a wife, mom, avid candy eater, and lover of all things neutral. I hope you'll stay a while and browse all things weddings &  portrait sessions. OH, and lots of my little family... because after all, they are 

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my why.

 Yesterday I was on my old computer looking for something and I went down a rabbit hole of images from years past. During my stroll down memory lane, I couldn’t help to think about how much I’ve grown and that’s just not something I think about often.

It’s so hard to lift yourself while doing the daily grind. When you’re constantly striving to be better, you don’t stop to think about where you were or how far you’ve come. And let’s be honest- we’re all victims of the comparison monster. I do it often. In a social media world, it’s so easy to compare yourself to others.  But the truth is, we ALL started on ground zero.  No one ever started in this industry being their best self… EVER.

SO I thought it might be fun to show where I started… and where I am now.  I’m going to show you what my images looked like straight out of camera, how I edited it back then, and how I would edit the same image now!

Here we go!

2013:  This is my little man Marley at 10 weeks old. He’s now almost 5 lol He was one of my first models when I still wasn’t sure if this “photography” thing was for me.

First picture is SOOC (straight out of camera)

This is how I edited it in 2013. It looks like I brightened it up a tad and made it a little warmer. Obviously, I didn’t know much about Lightroom or editing… but I mean, not AWFUL right? LOL

This is how I would edit it today! I’d bump that exposure a LOT (because that’s just my style). I’d warm it up, bring up the shadows, bring down the highlights, and bring down the blacks just a tad to give it some life. However, if I shot this same picture today, my camera settings would be very different. Maybe this spring I’ll take Marley back to the buttercup field and take this shot again! 

2014: My first paid wedding, WOOHOO! This couple won an engagement session giveaway contest and liked their pictures so much they hired me for their wedding! Talk about a proud moment LOL! I was SO HAPPY.

Left picture is SOOC |  Right picture is my 2014 edit

If I shot this wedding today my placement of the couple and camera settings would be different. However, I do still love these original images!This is how I would edit the picture today. Also, today I’d move out of the way so I couldn’t see myself in the car LOL oops.

 

This is another 2014 wedding!

Left picture is SOOC   |    Right picture is my 2014 edit.
This is how I would edit the image today. I’d crop it in so the composition wouldn’t be off-centered. I’d also brighten it up.  If I shot this today, I wouldn’t place her with her back towards high bright sun. If I would’ve turned her towards the sun or even slightly to the side, then the super pink/red cast on her arms from her dress wouldn’t be there. 

2015: I grew a lot between 2014 and 2015.

I invested in education, I made a commitment to learn my gear inside and out and then upgraded to better gear, and you can totally tell with these pictures.

Left is SOOC    |    Center is my 2015 Edit    |    Right is how I’d edit it today

2016: my Hayden girl!

Left is SOOC    |    Center is my 2016 Edit    |    Right is how I’d edit it today

I was afraid of the bright sun. I was afraid of overexposing in my edit. Now, it’s my style. 🙂 

2017: An engagement session from December

Left is SOOC      |     Right is my edit: I upped the exposure and made it warmer

Another one of my Hayden girl!  This was for her Christmas program this year. I died she was so cute.

Left: SOOC    |  Right: 2017 Edit– all I did was brighten it up a tad

My last wedding of 2017!

Left: SOOC   |    Right: I simply brightened it up

2018: A snowy Maternity session

Left: SOOC    |    Right: Brightened up and warmed up

So, as you can see, I’m not perfect! My SOOC Raw files are often times on a cooler tone and need to be warmed up. But sometimes, I NAIL them and literally have ZERO editing except an exposure bump or two.

It takes time. It takes practice. It takes investing in yourself and in your business.

But one thing I know for sure is…

All the patience, all the hours, and all the money you spend is SO WORTH being able to look back and see how much you’ve grown.

I can’t wait to look back at this blog in three years… or even next year, and see how much I’ve grown!

So the next time the comparison monster starts to creep up on you, remember that the ONLY person you should compare yourself and your business to, is the old you.

 

 

 

 

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