The "Fear" of "Failing" plays a major part in the joy of success as a photographer
I want to share with you my thoughts, fears and experiences of what it’s like to have All Access to spend a day capturing candids of the band Misterwvies.
One of my main goals as a photographer is to have access to certain people, places, things that others may not have access to. In this case it’s spending the day with an up and coming band Misterwvies. But with the access comes a mental challenge and responsibility to my craft.
I start to wonder if I will be able to “do it again”. Meaning will I be able to capture what I think is a fantastic photo story with a lot of keeper images or will I fail. Yes, in my head I am worried what will happen if I am not able to deliver solid images or any good images at all. This is the on going battle in my brain until I am finally able to bring the images to life in post processing. Why do I have this struggle, because I don’t want to fail, I don’t want to let myself down first and foremost and second I don’t want to let down the band who thinks I do fantastic work.
I know people wonder how much I was getting paid to do a job like this. If I were to charge a band to capture candids for a day and deliver them all the images for online usage only I would charge anywhere from $5,000-$10,000. The truth of the matter is I asked to shoot them and offered a trade. Give me access, I give you photos. I am sure some people might think that’s a bad idea but in my position as a photographer today, I can choose to shoot certain jobs for nothing because I make money elsewhere.
The one thing I want you to understand is no matter what I am getting paid, wether it’s $0 or a $1,000,000 I am still going to do the same job. When i’m shooting, i’m trying to capture the best story possible and what i’m getting paid doesn’t change that.
My goal for this day was to tell an amazing photo story from start to finish. From the load in to the load out and everything in-between I wanted All Access to be there and shooting. The band gave me the all access I needed no questioned asked. I pitched them the idea and they were on board right away. This band has so much fun, they are always laughing and smiling which makes my job so much easier. They work hard, they love each other and they love their fans. They opened their doors to me and gave me the access to capture the images I always want to capture.
Back to the fear thing, throughout the day I wasn’t sure if I was capturing the “good stuff”. it’s always hard to tell if you will come back with a handful of keepers or a full on photo story that spans a hundred images.
The most challenging part of the day was shooting the actual live show. The Filmore in Philly is a brand new venue and has some of the brightest lights I have ever seen. They are the latest LED technology and there are so many of them. This actually posses a problem in combination with how high the stage was and the smoke machine the band was using. The lights are constantly moving, and when I say moving i’m not talking about the same lights just panning left and right. These lights, spin, move, pan, tilt, bob, weave, change color and change intensity all in a matter of a split second. To put it mildly, it’s a challenge.
But like most challenges, I accept them and do my best to beat the shit out of them. At the end of the day I knew I captured some nice images but wasn’t sure if I matched the quality of the images I captured of the band when I photographed them on their video shoot set. When I sat down to important and edit I started to get the familiar feeling of accomplishment, the yes, I did it. As I stared my images for processing I started to see the story of the day come to life. It was all right there in front of me waiting to be edited and turned into a story of the day.
I can honestly tell you as I was processing the images this thought went through my head “I’m good, I did it”. I know I am a confident person with my work but the statement I just made is more of a relief statement than an arrogance statement. I see nothing wrong in knowing you did it, knowing that you succeeded at bringing the story of the day to life. I think the fear of failing plays a major part in the joy of success as a photographer. When you succeed own it, when you fail, own it, whatever you do OWN IT.
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