Have you ever seen the work of a great photographer and felt this simultaneous combination of “Wow, this is so awesome!” and “Man, I really suck”?
Well, join the club, my friend. I think we all feel that way at some point. I mean, you want to be looking at work that is better than your own to inspire you. But that’s inevitably going to leave you feeling like you don’t measure up. Dilemma! But here’s the big thing to remember. What you don’t see are the hundreds of thousands of crappy photos that photographer has taken.
I’m not exaggerating. We tried to figure out how many photos we’ve taken that weren’t good enough to make the cut. We gave up really quickly because the numbers were staggering and I’d rather not think too much about it. ;)
So today, as hard proof, I am going to share some of our very recent crappy photos with you. I’ll give a bit of commentary about what makes them crappy, but, well, it’s pretty obvious. Hope you enjoy! :)
Exhibit A: From a very recent wedding. This is just a complete miss. I wasn’t in the right spot at all. Things were moving quickly, I was shooting a lot, wasn’t thinking enough, and took this stunner.
Exhibit B: Wow. Could that dress BE more blown out? There is absolutely no information left, and no way to recover the photo. I really rocked on this one. Basically I took a photo before I had considered a new lighting situation. Fail.
Exhibit C: This one is just all sorts of bad. It’s underexposed to begin with, so that’s not awesome. But there’s much more crappiness going on here. Note the beautiful light pole coming right out of the bride’s head. Lovely. And the half child playing in the grass. Perfection.
Exhibit D: Just a complete miss. Even if the focus was actually on the pup, where it should be, it still would have been a weak shot. Blah.
Exhibit E: Textbook example of underexposure. Got too excited and took a shot before reading my light meter. Classic.
Exhibit F: Wow, this one is just crappy in every way. Blurry, boring, and it features that nice big blue light in the top corner. If that was a UFO this would be a good photo. But it’s not. So it’s crappy.
Exhibit G: What is this even of? I liked the lines, but did such a bad job of making something interesting out of them. It’s crooked, and the parking signs at the bottom are distracting. Just boring boring boring.
Ok, I think you’ve got the idea. We take some really crappy photos, even after years of doing this. And I expect there are many many more to come, and I’m cool with that. By taking crappy photos, understanding why they’re crappy (this is the key!) and then improving next time you’re out shooting, well, that’s how you get better!
So, when you’re looking at all your crappy photos, don’t feel bad. Remember that every photographer out there has taken so many crappy photos it would make your head spin. The great ones just learn from their mistakes, and keep on shooting!