Friday, 25 June 2010

If you succeed in everything you do, you're probably not trying hard enough...

This has been boiling up in my mind for some time now, and I think it's something that we can all be guilty of, not just photographers. We find something we're good at. Something we enjoy. And we do it. And do it. And do it again. It's comfortable, and it's safe.

But we don't go anywhere.

We don't grow, and we don't change. We don't challenge ourselves, and we don't experiment.

And most importantly, we don't fail.

The studio photographer who has been shooting the same family portraits in the same studio against the same mottled beige background for the last 20 years. He's very good at what he does. He nails his exposure every time, and he gets his composure just-so. He could do it in his sleep. In fact, he is doing it in his sleep. He doesn't look at magazines for inspiration, he doesn't read blog for the latest lighting ideas - he doesn't push his craft, and his mastery of it. He's forgotten that there is a world of adverture out there, a world of colour and noise and change that is passing by him and his photography.

We seem to hate failure - and it's easy to understand why - failure can hurt, and it can bring self-doubt. Failure makes you feel like there's no point in trying again, trying harder and pushing on regardless. "If I try again, I could fail again."

But not pushing is the biggest failure of all.

We have to push. We have to try new things, and we have to experiment. And part of that is failure. Don't be afraid of it - learn from it.

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