Becoming creative with your camera means that you will fail. You will miss important moments and make grave mistakes. Creativity is not an easy path. The more you care about your craft, the more mistakes will sting. One of my students once said, “Chris, I think photography hurts because we love it so much.” Yet the hurt reinforces the worth.
When John Steinbeck worked as a farmhand, the experience gave him empathy for the hard life of migrant workers during the Great Depression. He set out to write a novel about their plight. In the fall of 1936 he was just about finished with what seemed like a great piece of work. One day, he came home to discover that his dog had torn the entire manuscript to shreds. Can you imagine the pain and agony Steinbeck experienced that day? Yet, like many of the most brilliant minds, he was not willing to cave in. Steinbeck rewrote the entire novel, Of Mice and Men, from scratch. And while we cannot know for certain, I’d be willing to bet the novel was better the second time around. Either way, I’m glad Steinbeck never gave up.
If you’re reading this book I know that you haven’t given up and I’m glad for that. As you progress with your camera technique, remember that you follow in the footsteps of those who have made many failed attempts. If you want to succeed, don’t ever give up.