“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Over the years, I’ve written a few posts about failing. But the truth is, there is no such thing as failure as long as you learn something from your actions. The key is to remember to do something a little different now and then.
Have you ever wandered into another photographer’s studio and noticed duct tape on the floor showing where the lights need to be for a portrait session? This is an example of a photographer whose work always looks the same. It may be consistent, but it sure lacks creativity.
You have got to mix it up now and then and take a risk. Years ago, Tony Corbell would suggest that photographers save the last frame on the roll and shoot in a way that was totally different from everything else they had photographed. With today’s technology, the “roll” is endless. You’ve got an opportunity to experiment with every click of the shutter.
Now let’s take the concept beyond your photographic technique and talk about participation in your community and the photographic industry. Take time to get involved with new events and community service. Attend different conventions. Meet other photographers and talk with the speakers at every convention or workshop you attend.
Photography is a career field loaded with seasoned veterans who haven’t forgotten their roots. Look at the speakers for any upcoming convention you’re going to attend. You will find a group of people who are willing to help you expand your skill set, but they can’t help you if you’re afraid to talk to them!
Emerson’s quote hit home this morning because it’s all about taking risks. It’s time for many of you to step outside your comfort zone more often. That’s when your growth as an artist will really take off.