If there is one thing I have learned as an artist with an online presence is that years of experience and technical abilities do not always equate to being popular or successful. New photographers with a keen eye and a simple camera setup have just as much of a chance to grow their social presence as someone who has been at it for decades, and in some ways they have an advantage: enthusiasm.

Jealousy is a feeling that affects everyone at some point in their life, but it’s how you react to it that matters. If another person’s “rise to fame” or overall success is purely organic, then learn from it! What are they doing differently? More often than not it’s because those photographers are pounding the pavement, creating opportunities, and sharing their work regularly.

In my early years photographing food, I felt the scorn of a fellow food photographer whom I, at the time, admired and highly respected. It was tough knowing that I lost a colleague due to what I could only presume was due to their jealousy of the opportunities I had created for myself. The uneasiness didn’t last long; I prefer to keep toxic relationships out of my life so I let it go.

Anyone who knows me professionally knows that I believe that boosting up others is the best for everyone. I still have many other friends in the food photography industry, as well as other areas in this field. Putting others down, isolating yourself, and feeling the pangs of jealousy and guilt will only push you deeper into a bitter, dark hole. However, lifting others up, expressing positivity, and displaying confidence will make you a better person, a better photographer, and someone whom others are much more likely to seek out and follow.