So “Who is your favourite photographer?” Historically that answer shifted quite a bit for me, depending on the day or the mood or which books I had recently flipped through. It was a complicated question to answer. But then I simplified it and changed the answer to “myself”. It came in a moment of inspiration, really. And without disrespect to the many incredible photographers out there, my favourite really ought to be myself. Sure, maybe this answer is implied in the question, as in “Who (besides yourself) is your favourite photographer?” But if so, I think it might have become so implied that many of us don’t even consider it as a possible answer. Have you ever considered yourself as your favourite photographer? And why shouldn’t you be? I would argue that many of the struggles that photographers go through internally stems from them not thinking highly enough of their own work. Learn to love your photography for if you do, you will do it longer, harder, and more frequently. And if you do those things, success will come naturally. But still I think many struggle with the concept of liking their work, or being their favourite photographer.
Being your own favourite photographer is not arrogant. Arrogance is when you think you are a better photographer than others. Or a more important photographer. Being your favourite photographer doesn’t have to involve thinking you are better than another, it just has to mean you like your own work the best. Since favouring is a matter of opinion and personal taste, shouldn’t your own work match your own personal taste the best?
Being your own favourite photographer doesn’t mean you necessarily think your work is good, it just means you like it the best.
Maybe your work is good and you like it the best, or maybe you know it isn’t terribly good but you still love it anyway. Separate the enjoyment of your work from the evaluation of how good it is or isn’t. Then you can focus on enjoying your photography and worry less about how good it is or is not. Because if you focus on enjoying it, you will tend to approach it in ways that cause it to get better.
This may be easier said than done, and to do that you will have to make a conscious effort. It will take work. But it starts with little steps.
Start by thinking of yourself as your own favourite photographer.
Just try it.