I'm more leaning towards rejecting the mindset of don't be cliched, I want to see the real you and what you want to say. The problem with that mentality is that there are more than 7 billion people on the planet, communication is faster than it's ever been, and photography has become accessible to nearly everyone. So yeah...7 billion people making photographs CAN'T result in 7 billion photographers who look unique.
I take your point, but there aren't anywhere near 7 billion people trying to use photography for something other than recording where they were and who else was present.
I think we misunderstood the term 'honesty' here. When I say honest, I don't mean 'don't lie'. I meant dig deep enough in yourself to find what is that you truly and uniquely believe to be worth photographing on a serious level.
The distinction, if I understand you, is between honesty and authenticity. Authenticity is hard to explain.
Earlier, I mentioned beliefs. One belief I've acquired is that everyone's mental processing at any moment takes place mostly below consciousness. You don't know everything that's on your mind. You can think faster than it feels like, and you won't be aware of all the steps in this thinking. So, when you see something that strikes you as a good subject for a picture, you may not know all the reasons. Possibly the reasons that were unknown initially will show up in the picture. In this sense, your self becomes visible in your work--more likely in a series of images than in just one.
Talking like this is presumptuous of me. What do the more advanced people say?