I think we are all prone to the negatives of life’s emotions. When I was much younger, I could be quite the hot-head. I am Latino, a Scorpio and an unknowingly at the time, a creative. It’s like the perfect storm!

But I eventually realized that entertaining those emotions will burn you up from the inside out. They affect your health, mentality and relationships. I thank God that I received that wisdom and decided that while I have those emotions, I can turn that negative energy into a positive outcome. It’s why I can’t sleep sometimes. All that energy. It’s why my boxing friends nicknamed me “Rampage”. I channel whatever aggressive energy in positive and good ways.

For quite a number of years, I’ve been especially free of envy and jealousy. I’ve turned it into drive and inspiration. Instead of thinking “Why am I not in their shoes!!!!” I am instead “I’ll get there soon!!!”. I think the best way I counteract the negatives is two ways:

• The Process. I discussed this in one of my blog articles last month. Talent and ability is just one of the variables to attaining and sustaining success. You have to attain the other variables to reach and sustain success from growth and experience. Everyone goes through it. If you haven’t started the process, it’s things you can’t even imagine yet. They are different for everyone. Because everyone is different.

• Our Path. Everyone is on their own path. If we don’t know someone, we don’t know the hardships the person enjoying success had to go through to achieve it. Most likely if we did know, you would be “They definitely deserve their success!”

I haven’t felt envy and jealousy in years. I thought I had reached another level in my own personal development.

Until recently.

I was researching some beauty photography work and came upon an image which I thought was stunning. So I went to go see the person who created the work. She is a young, 30-something Asian woman whose been getting some pretty big awards since she was 18. Rich? Maybe? She stated she finally upgraded her Canon 1DS MKIII after 10 years to a Pentax 645Z. Years of high-level photography and she finally upgrades. I mean, that's really cool! If you must know who I'm talking about, click on this link to see her website. Stunning work.

Her work is awesome and I thought “I need to up my game!”. I immediately started critiquing my own work and seeing how I can make it better. Though, it was with a sort of bitter taste.

As I started going through my work, I thought “You know, I really love my work….” On a purely technical basis, it looks to be as good as hers. She definitely has a different style than I do. But my style, and I know I have good taste, I thought is really good too.

I first looked at this image of Tashi… Totally by chance. Taken almost exactly 3 years ago…. One of my most favorite and simplest shoots ever. Not only that, I think the images just rock! With this image, I just applied one of my templates to it. Spot-healed some pimples. 5-minutes and it’s 99% there. That’s all I did. No photoshop. This can easily be used to advertise the jacket…

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Then there is this one with Emelie…. I thought looking at one of my latest images would help look where I need to improve…. Again, only a color template was applied. The only photoshop I need to do is fix the little string that came undone on her waste. That’s pretty much it. Done. I love this image. In my opinion, the image is one of my most perfect, classically looking fashion images I’ve done. The dress and colors of it look fantastic. I think she looks mesmerizing. Spellbinding.

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Then I got angry. Very angry. I didn’t know why. I laid in bed thinking about it for a couple of hours. Why am I so angry? It was driving me mad. I’m not 100%, but I think I figured it out….

Jealousy and envy came knocking. I was angry because I felt that my work was equally as strong as the other photographer but not getting the recognition. Then I was angry at myself for thinking that way. Because I remembered: Process and Path.

I’ve mentioned to several friends that I’m totally okay with not reaching success as soon as I landed in New York. In one hand, I was still quite torn from dealing with my father’s death as I mentioned in a previous article. I think I would’ve imploded with any big success I got back then. On the other hand, I’ve learned so much about life while being in New York. While it involved much pain, my personal growth has grown geometrically to me being the happiest I’ve ever been. The Process in effect.

I know I and others get angry with The Process. We want to be doing what we want to be doing and as a bonus, receive the rewards that come with that whatever that means to us. But, you know, you got to hang in there. As I mentioned in a last month’s article:

• Do your best.

• Be persistent.

• Be grateful.

• Be kind.

• Don’t quit.

HAVE A GREAT ATTITUDE.

Yes, I gave the last one it's own line. It's sort of the core for the others but needs to be emphasized. It takes practice and the more you do it, the more it becomes a part of you. It's both magnet and motivator for the others. And, it just makes you feel good!

Ricardo Gomez Photography

Originally from San Francisco, Ricardo is now a New York-based photographer specializing in editorial and commercial photography.
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