If there is one piece of advice I can give to photographers it is this. Don’t be afraid to fail! Tonight I started digging through my archives and trying to find images to load to The Archives and I came across a few shoots where I thought I had failed. Honestly, I have no idea why I thought this!
When you are an artist of any type, even the type like me, you cannot allow the negative vibes into yourself. There have been so many times when I have shot a session and thought to myself, “fuck, I just totally fucked up!” But when I go back and look, I did exactly what I wanted to do but I either didn’t know how to finish the images or was too frustrated by the imperfection. Which now I fully realize the power of imperfection.
Here is the thing. I love gritty, grainy and even blurry images. I rented the newest of the new cameras the other day and it was amazingly sharp and the colors just popped. It was everything that every photographer could want in a camera. Except for me.
There is a reason I love expired film, even though technicians at the lab hate it because of the scanning difficulties it can bring. But to me this extra effort makes the images better. I love discoloration, I love shooting for a mood rather than a technically perfect image. I love that I see the world as imperfect and wish to share the beauty of this imperfection.
I no longer crave the attention of magazines or advertisements or any type of commercial work. I don’t want to shoot what is expected of me, I want to shoot what I want to shoot. I cannot stress this enough to other photographers who want to expand their portfolios or just create the art they see in their heads.
When I shot this very quick session of Mac I knew what I wanted, but it took me a very long time to start to understand how to finish the product. I played with so many different styles and looks in post production and failed so many times. I don’t know if I am any closer to perfecting it, if this is perfection or if I’ll end up redoing all of these images yet again. But I really like where I’m going and how it pushes me to advance my own techniques.
Do not ever settle for good enough. There is so much more than good enough. Strive to be what you want to be, push yourself to failure over and over again. Because when you fail over and over, when you feel like nothing works is sometimes when you discover exactly what you were looking for to begin with.
Don’t settle for “good enough” and don’t ever stop pushing yourself. If you take anything from this please simply remember. You only fail when you stop trying.