I read a brief post on Photofocus today, which inspired my thoughts on this subject. You can read the Photofocus post here if you like. (PS – Photofocus is a great website with many resources for us photo types!)
The idea is ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’. The small stuff actually adds up to one big Roadblock if not kept in check. These self-created roadblocks will stunt your growth as an artist faster than you can say “Roadblock”.
In other words, “What are you worried about?”
Some of the small stuff is:
White Balance being too warm or too cool
Exposure being slightly over or under
Color Balance being off a bit
A misplaced Highlight on someone’s cheek
Better yet a blown out highlight of meaningless information
Composition not being perfect
Other photographers may notice these things – hopefully they present constructive criticism to build you up and not tear you down. I encourage you to surround yourselves with photographers that possess the heart of a servant, to provide you the support and feedback you need. Regular folks and photo enthusiasts never notice.
Here is an example I use all of the time when mentoring someone and building them up on their journey:
I see homemade videos/and slideshows often at the weddings I document. These slideshows are filled with (what most photographers would consider ‘TERRIBLE’) photographs. Underexposed photographs, Overexposed, overdone flash which blows all detail out of people’s faces, red-eye, old grain 110 film scans, color-aged images, selective color images, crinkled up scans, etc… As a photographer, you can look at the images and think… ‘Oh the quality of these images is so bad!’, but when you take a step back and really look, it’s not the quality of the photographs you will see. You will moments, memories and more specifically Important People. Important to everyone that is in that room. You will also see and hear laughter, tears, joy, connection, memories being relived in front of everyone. It creates a sense of connection based on 1 thing… ‘Who is in the photographs’ not how quality they are! When I view these pictures I think to myself ‘They are going to LOVE the photographs I give them from this day!!!’ LOL
This doesn’t inspire me to be a slacker and not deliver my best, because I want to deliver the best. I am also not suggesting that you throw in the towel on your “small stuff”. I just know that with the skills and vision I possess, I will certainly make people happy with what I deliver. I I mean isn’t that the point after all – Making People Happy?
That is my vision: To Make People Happy with what I Give Them. Nothing more, nothing less.
So stop letting the small stuff worry you which will ultimately impede your growth. Be aware of it and strive to improve, but be OK.
Let’s look at it this way… Are you better today than you were yesterday? I just want to be better than I was yesterday. Some days, I know I will not be and that is perfectly OK!
Challenge: Go look at some photographs you made a few years ago, then last year, then last week…. Do you see yourself getting better? I am willing to be you will. If not, then let’s start addressing it, because it probably has to do with vision and technical abilities that need sharpened a bit.