When viewing photographers’ images, you’re probable seeing only a small percentage of their work. Most photos taken are not considered good enough to work on or to put out there for the public eye. When I return from a photo shoot, I go through many images and select the few that strike me as having potential. Of those, I work on and share only a small percentage with the public.
Hence, I fail much more than I succeed. By analyzing the bad compositions, I learn more about making good compositions. I learn to go with the flow and accept chance happenings that affect my image, such as a dog running into the frame, or a gust of wind rustling through the grass, or a vehicle obstructing the view I had hoped to photograph, or the weather being less than ideal.
I learn that there is nothing wrong with failure. In fact, learning from failure is a way I grow as a photographer. There are periods when I just don’t feel like heading out with my camera. A recent cold spell had me feeling that way. I still try to push myself to practice my craft, even when I’d rather be doing something else, even when the images I come up with are not my best.
Staying with the program is a helpful attitude to have in life–to persist in doing what we need to do, even when it’s inconvenient, or we just don’t feel like it. I’m reminded of the passage from St. Paul, where he likens the life of faith to running a race and finishing it well, in order to receive the reward. Our reward could be the deepening of a relationship, the strengthening of a skill, the satisfaction of accomplishment, or the realization of a goal. God willing, I’ll continue to make images, as I will continue to run the race as well as I can.
“Let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us, while keeping our eyes on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)