My Photography Failures (& why risk taking is important)

In early June, I attended the Promoting Passion tour hosted by Brooke Shaden. It was an experience that altered my perspective on many things business, art, and creativity related. It also altered my perspective on failure. Like I talked about in my Top 10 Photography Fears post, I think it's important to be very open and honest about fears, but also failures. We're all human beings! And, to quote from that post directly, I think that especially if you're hiring someone who will see you potentially be vulnerable, you should see me be vulnerable as well.


So, folks, these are my failures! Enjoy!


1. My Dia De Los Muertos photo series last year.


If you know me at all, you might think, "What photo series?"


Exactly.


I was talking since August last year about this beautiful plan I had to create a beautiful photo series based around the traditions and history of Dia De Los Muertos. I even wanted to create a short video series to go even more in-depth about the shooting process, editing process, and finally to tell the stories behind each photograph. But, unfortunately it never happened. Time and fear got the better of me and it never wound up happening. August, September, and October rolled around and things got busier and busier and I let it go.


2. Rejection.


Rejection isn't fun and oh boy I've had my fair share of it. Submitting to magazines is easy, or submitting to websites that will put your photos up for licensing opportunities, or submitting photos to get featured on Flickr. None of those have ever panned out! That's totally fine! I'm not letting it stop me from keeping on, because otherwise it will always be a failure. This is one of the failures that could turn into a success, so try I will!


3. Bluebonnet Mini Sessions


This year, I did a cardinal sin and raised my prices... again. My mini session prices used to be $75, and I raised them to $100-$125. So for this past bluebonnet season those were my prices! I spent a good few days getting everything prepared to launch and be open for bookings. I even made it so that way people could book themselves! I honestly was only preparing myself for a few full weekends of shooting bluebonnet mini sessions, and was definitely not preparing myself for failure!


I booked three bluebonnet mini sessions... I think? It might have only been two.


In comparison to 2018 where I was booked for two full weekends of bluebonnet mini sessions, this felt awful. Not only was it a failure, but it took a toll on my self-esteem for a bit. All I could wonder was if people thought my work wasn't worth the extra price. I considered lowering mini session pricing down again, but I didn't. And I'm happy I didn't! This was yet another opportunity I was able to take and stand firm in my work and in my prices.


4. Not taking enough risks.


This is my last failure. It may not be totally able to be categorized as a failure, but I believe it is. By not taking enough risks and being able to potentially fail or succeed more, I've failed myself.


See, I made this blog post in a result of not posting my Accountability Monday (something I do every Monday on my Instagram!) on the 5th of this month. I thought it was a good push and went hand in hand with doing something scary. But, as I sat down to write these failures out, I realized there weren't many to talk about.


My mom has always told me from the time I started my business (when I was thirteen) that this time in my life is the time to try everything, and then to fail at almost everything. I take that to heart still because my business is still growing. Or, it's not at it's final form yet, so to speak.


I have a freedom now that is special, and I don't know how long that freedom will stick around. I need to be better at utilizing it without any expectations besides knowing that whatever comes from it will be a lesson. There's never a bad lesson to be learned, so I will take more risks and do more of the scary things that I like to try to avoid.

These are my failures, my friends! I'd love to hear about any of your failures, and if you have a favorite lesson that you've learned from them. Truly, I want to know.


Talk to you soon. Spread love.