Seneca Rocks, West Virginia
I was recently interviewed for a popular photography podcast (details coming very soon) and one of the questions I was asked concerned my willingness to share my failed images in my recently released ebook. I’ve never considered that a problem, probably because I think most of my images are failures in some way or another, and I’m not afraid to admit that. In fact, the real challenge was choosing which successful images to include in the book. I could have filled several volumes with failures no problem!
So often we’re protective of how we come across to others, and only want to share what we consider our successes. I set a really high bar that I constantly strive to reach – whether in photography, or writing, or as a parent. There’s a lot of risk in that approach, and often I have to take a good look at reality and adjust my expectations.
As a parent, I make it a point to share that with my 9 yr old son as often as possible. I am flawed, and I want him to really understand that. The most important lesson I can teach him is that even with the flaws and mistakes, it’s the perseverance, determination, and willingness to be authentic that makes the difference. And that earns respect which in my opinion is essential in parenting.
In photography, the more failure there is, the better. I went out this morning and failed. I went out yesterday and failed. To be honest I haven’t succeeded in several weeks, and I go out three to four times a week. This is often due to conditions that are out of my control, such as the weather. That’s ok, success will come, and that will give me the confidence I need to know I can succeed. I still stay up at night wondering if I really have what it takes to see this through to the end. Then the morning comes and I tell myself there’s no way in hell I’m giving up.
Be authentic, share your fears and flaws, let others know you deal with the same crap they do – in the end they’ll trust and respect you unconditionally. And that’s the most important thing as a photographer – not your work, you.
Do you agree with my perspective? Have a different point of view you want to share? Please let me know, always looking for other perspectives. thanks!