Talk To Your Failures !

Invite your failures for diner.


This sentence is not from me but from a well-known photographer named Joe McNally. He says that, although he is a photographer who obviously made it, his career was made of ups and downs, of success and failures, great assignments and unemployment periods. And I guess we all experience this from times to times. He got fired many times and he had days when he had doubts about is ability of becoming a good photographer. I may be a GWAC, I take my passion very seriously and I want to get better and better. And I am afraid to say that I also have my ups and downs.

Learn from your failures…

A few days ago, I have been contacted by a young lady who kindly asked me if I could make some shots of her, here in Vienna, on TFP basis. I thought it might be interesting so I checked how she looks like. I wanted to do so because I already have experienced what happens when your model shows up and (s)he is not what, let’s say it this way, you are actually entitled to expect. But everything was fine I was pretty sure, according to the pictures I have been able to grab on the net, that I would not repeat the same thing an other time.. So I agreed  and we set a shooting on Saturday (2 days ago from now). Saturday arrives, I packed my gears, my D700, my 70-200mm, my quadra from Elinchrom and last but least, my reflector. I called a friend who kindly accepted to assist me.

I live 30 km away from Vienna (=35 minutes) and as I was driving to the city which is the little name for the 1st district, I realized that the weather was pretty windy and cold. And those 2 things combined together are not good for a shooting outside on location. I even would say pretty bad :

1) Your model can get cold, And you see a growing lack, understandable, of motivation, frame after frame
2) You keep on worrying about your gears, especially the strobe, hopping the wind the wind is not going to be strong enough to blow it away.

My friend, R, arrived a little sooner as expected which is always a good thing. We had a coffee at the McDonald right at the corner from the place we were all supposed to meet. My model, Miss K, showed up just a couple of minutes after. She is really nice looking : tall, nice, not to skinny (I hate to see only bones on faces) and she carried with her several dresses. I was happy and thought ” WOW! This is gonna be a killer-Shooting!”

Well, yes and no.

At the end of the day, it appeared to be a OK-shoot. I have to say at this point that my model did great, she was nice, good-looking, highly motivated, did not care about the wind, etc… So it has nothing to do with her. Nor with Mister R (well, a little since I have realised afterward that he did not hold the reflector as he was told to).

But you know what? It was my shooting, so I am the only one person to blame here. In fact, we have managed to get some good shots and I am quiet positive Miss K is happy with the pictures (see one them above). BUT there was much more potential in this constellation, in this context, than I have been able to take out of it. I see all that I could have done better and it would have been the shooting of the century. Could have been. It was a great shooting. But not the big one.

Joe says I have to invite my failures for dinner and to talk with them. So this exactly what I am going to do in the next posts :  Marc meets his failures, has diner with them and talk to them. And I will write the dialog in coming up posts.

Stay tuned!

more to come…


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