Hamilton, the musical about America’s first treasury secretary, won a Grammy for best Musical Theatre album. With tickets near impossible to get. I’ve been getting my fix by listening to the soundtrack on repeat.
There are various life lessons we can learn from the musical, but I’d like to focus on one for today.
In the song “Wait for It” Aaron Burr (Hamilton’s friend who later ends up fatally wounding him in a duel) Burr reflects and laments about Hamilton’s rise and successes. He decides to “wait for it” since he has a reputation, and legacy to protect.
My favorite line is “I am the one thing in life I can control. I am inimitable I am an original.” What does that have to do with photography? Lots.
A few months ago, I was watching a band I had formerly photographed perform. It was nice to be a spectator and take everything in, versus working. Another photographer was there doing his thing. A friend leaned over and said jokingly: “Oh is he trying to take over your job?” I looked and said slyly “Leave him. No one can do what I do.”
Even though the market is saturated with writers, photographers, musicians, interior decorators, bloggers, etc the fact is no one can do what you can do. You are inimitable, you are an original. People may copy exactly the way you write, and dress. They may even try to produce the same product as you. They will however, never have the same take, eye, or particular spin on things that you have.
I say this not to be boastful, or stuck up. I know who I am as an artist, and as a person. So when you feel like you’re in a situation where someone is “taking over” something you feel that is “yours.” Remember that you are an original. Everything may have been done before, but it hasn’t been done by you.