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Useful Photography Tip #32: Quick Tips on Dealing With Failure

by Gevon Servo on 06/08/2012

It was warm and slightly windy. The sky was a little cloudy. The light had a brilliant warm color to it. The vista in front of you was pristine. You have your camera to compose your shot. Everything is ready and when you release the shutter: “demo mode”. You forgot to bring your memory card. Or like me, you screw up the film of what could of been my best film shots, ever.

You failed to plan in advance.

Guess What? …. It’s OKAY, You Will be Alright.

In photography, as in life, sometimes we fail. From time to time you forget things or something does not go right. You don’t get a shot. Your portfolio is ripped to shreds in a review. It’s not a happy time but you have to move on. Acknowledge the failure, don’t run away accept what has happened. This is how you learn one good thing comes from failure, a lesson. If you handle failure well, you can learn from it. Failure should at all times be a teacher. The key is to try not to echo your mistakes. A number of opportunities will be lost, particular ones will present themselves again. It is essential not to stay focused on the failure itself, instead focus on what you can learn from the experience. If you gain knowledge from failure, you have not truly failed.

 Be Willing to Fail

There are times in life where you have to take chances. You have to try out new cameras. Shoot with others people’s gear. Shoot outside your comfort zone. If you choose not to do anything in fear of failure, you will not know what you are missing out on.

Learn from Others

Keep in mind that you are not the only person in the world who may fail at times. The best photographers out there have failed at something. They have missed a shot or had a bad day. These people have either blogged about it or talked about it at some point. Photographers around you have also failed, too. These are great opportunities to gain knowledge.

All will be well

The key to failure is not giving up. You’re not always going to succeed in your photography. Things are not always going to work out right. If you let a single failure stop you, you will do yourself a disservice. Getting things right builds character, and failure will reveal it. Let failure be a step forward. Look at your failure from every different angle, seek feedback and new perspectives. Be willing to listen to others and make changes. When you have enough ideas, retry what you have failed at, if you can. Share your story with others. Others photographers are great learning resources: become one yourself. Reframe. Change. Revise.  Rinse and repeat.

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