What No One Will Tell You When Working On A Photography Project
For my first blog post, I thought it would be a fun idea to immediately break down any barriers and be completely transparent with you all, from one photographer to another and share with you something I like to call The Three F's:
Frustration, Failure, Fulfilment.
I think we can all agree that any project you work on, it never goes entirely smooth from start to finish. There's always something that has to add a bump in the road and no matter the size of this "bump", it is always annoying. How you recover and what you learn from this bump however, is key to your growth in your work (and just life in general).
For my project (In)visible Blood, I had MANY bumps, the biggest probably being the all too known Covid19, but that is a blog post in itself. Today, I simply want to make it known that it is so very normal to get frustrated at your project, to feel like you've failed but the minute you feel like you've failed, is the minute your project is just beginning. It is easy to get caught up with what you envision the final outcome to look like and it's easy to see another photographer's work and think, why can't my work look like that? You're work isn't meant to look like someone else's, if it did, then it wouldn't be unique to you. I can assure you, the photographer you admire has had just as much frustration and failure as you are feeling but they continued and fulfilled their project.
I've come up with 5 key steps that help me when I get to that dreaded stage:
Feel the frustration. Have a cup of tea...or gin!
Take a break. Walk away from it all for a day...or for however long you want to (unless you have a deadline, then in that case maybe just keep it to the day)
Go back to your initial idea. Gather your thoughts, what worked? What didn't work? What can I do differently?
Stay positive. Come back to your project with a positive mindset and clear head.
I've had several cups of tea and many gins over the years but nothing compares to the feeling of fulfilment when you see your finished project. Reflect on the work you've done, the emotions you experienced and take a moment to step back and admire all you've accomplished. Trust the process and as much as I often hate to admit it myself, there is no such thing as "perfect". Perfectionism is subjective and you will always have room for improvement but one thing for sure is, you will never fail.
I want to use this space to share the behind the scenes, the nitty gritty that we don't often see and maybe offer some tips that I've learned from my own experiences of challenges, failures and accomplishments. I've got a lot of growing to do myself and I am inviting you along to learn and laugh with me as we go.