"Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.
The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse,
and you may get your coat soiled or torn?
What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice?
Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Over the years, I've written some posts about failing. The truth is, there's no such thing as long as you learn something from your actions. The challenge is remembering that now and then you need to do something a little different.
Ever wander into another photographer's studio and see duct tape on the floor showing where the lights need to be for a portrait session? There's a photographer whose work always looks the same, and while it might be consistent, it sure lacks creativity.
You've got to mix it up now and then and take a risk. Years ago Tony Corbell used to suggest photographers save the last frame on the roll and shoot in a way that was totally different from everything else you had photographed. Well, today, that "roll" is endless. You've got an opportunity to experiment with every click of the shutter.
But, let's take the concept beyond your photographic technique and talk about participation in your community and the photographic industry. Take time the time to get involved with new events and community service. Attend different conventions. Meet other photographers and talk with the speakers at every convention or workshop you attend.
Photography is a career field loaded with seasoned veterans who haven't forgotten their roots. Look at the speakers for any upcoming convention you're going to attend. You'll find a group of people all willing to help you expand your skill set, but they can't help you if you're afraid to talk to them!
Emerson's quote hit home this morning because it's all about taking risks. It's time for many of you to step outside your comfort zone more often. That's when your growth as an artist will really take off.
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Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.