To Err is Human...
June 2, 2023 issue #56 – To learn from your mistakes is devine.
What seems like a lifetime ago, working my way through school, I toiled as a stockboy at Tops Friendly Markets. One of my coworkers, who I’ll call Fred, was the nicest person in the world, but he was prone to making mistakes. Most of the Tops managers tolerated us making the occasional mistake, but Fred’s problem was that he made the same mistakes repeatedly. While working, doing my thing, I often overheard a manager saying, Fred, how many times have I told you…?
One might think that a stockboy couldn’t be demoted to a position lower; well, Fred was demoted to cart boy, which meant he had to shag shopping carts all day in the parking lot. This was before cart caddies were common, so the carts were physically everywhere. Shagging carts in Buffalo, New York, in December was not fun, so it definitely was a demotion.
Somehow, Fred messed that up, too, and was eventually fired.
So to err is human; to forgive divine. Or, in Fred’s case, to err is human; to learn from one’s mistakes will keep a paycheck coming in.
Similarly, for us photographers, to err is human; to learn from those mistakes will make us a better photographer.
Allow me to state this a bit more clearly – making mistakes can actually be beneficial to your photography. Here are a few reasons why:
Mistakes can help you learn. When you make a mistake, it's an opportunity to learn from it and improve your skills. For example, if you accidentally underexpose a photo, you can learn how to adjust your settings to avoid making the same mistake.
Mistakes can help you break out of your comfort zone. When you're always trying to take perfect photos, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut. But if you're willing to make mistakes, you can be more adventurous with your photography and try new things. This can lead to some of your most creative and interesting work.
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