I realized two things today: that I have been succeeding with my photography at the same rate as I am failing at my photography…..and I'm okay with that! It may sound strange to be okay with something like that, but it is all a part of becoming an artist and finding out what is important to you and what just isn't.
Success….simply put, I am growing as an artist. My work has gotten a lot better over the past 6 years, thanks in part to people who've doubted me, people who've supported me, and most importantly people who've taught me. It took me a while to become confident in what I do, especially when it came to charging people for my time and work. I can proudly say that today, I know that I have something to offer, I know my time is worth more than it used to be because my work rises above the failures I've had in the past. I'm also succeeding because of my wonderful clients! Some have stuck with me through the horrible home visits with no lights and shooting in JPEG only (you guys rock, I'm sorry for those days!) to the great days we've spent hanging in the studio producing beautiful raw (and RAW) images. Even if you don't understand my fancy photography terms, know that I am grateful that you all believed in me and stuck by me, and now we can both reap the benefits of my journey!
Failure….it seems like such a depressing word, but really it is part of growth, which can be an amazing thing. I'm failing in the sense that I have become somewhat stagnant; comfortable in my resting state of acceptable talent and easy jobs. I'm failing myself because I am not challenging myself. I've come to impress people with my work, so I'm afraid to try new things because may it won't be as impressive as what I've been able to do thus far. It seems silly, because the logical order of things says that I will only get better as time goes on, but there's that inner critic that all of us artists have that screams "Don't do it! They might hate it!" or something along those lines. I've had some amazing project ideas, including a 365 project which captures every day of your life for a year through photos, but then I somehow just lose sight of them because I'm comfortable with what I have going on.
I started the 365 project and got 5 pictures in and realized I hated it…which is okay! I guess it just shows that not all projects have to be finished in order to show us something. This project showed me that I don't like to be told to take photos, I like for the urge to just occur and to act on what I see naturally, not look for something because a piece of paper tells me to. Failing the 365 project taught me that failing and succeeding can come hand in hand, even if they seem like an unlikely pair. I failed the project, but I succeeding in defining myself in that moment.
Now that I've ranted long enough to put you all to sleep….here are the 5 pictures from my failed project. Although I failed, they capture perfectly the 5 main things that are currently present in my life: color, passion, love, relaxation, and a hell of a lot of snow.