Photography, advertising, freelance writing, painting or even animation are extremely competitive fields.
The only way you can put yourself ahead of the race is by not participating in the race.
Be in the ‘uncategorized’ category. Be your own genre. The one no one wants to attempt. The one which is requires a lot of hard work to start. The one that can stir up people’s emotions.
The one that’s scarce enough yet valuable enough that people will come to you when you stop making them.
That is called leading the tribe. And that’s what the world wants. Not more and more mere followers.