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Day 165: Failing Gracefully

Failing comes in all shapes and sizes. Failing is simply a part of life that we must learn to accept and appreciate. If we do not fail, we do not learn and if we do not learn, we do not grow. I failed today and I am honestly happen to admit it because I have been able to learn from that experience.

Early today I did a photoshoot and it went wonderfully and I am so excited to begin editing the image. After I got back, however, I had another idea for an image I wanted to shoot. I could see the final product clearly in my mind and after sketching it out I decided to go for it. Unlike most of what I’m drawn to doing, I was ready to experiment with something I’ve tried in the past and failed at before.

Many fine art photographers have shot against plain white walls and made them look amazing. I’ve tried it before many times and never once has been satisfied with the way they have turned out. Nonetheless, I decided to try again and was excited to do the shoot. I should have known right away it probably wouldn’t work when none of my costumes were working.

I tried several different dresses, even a bed sheet, and nothing was working. But I put on a trusty leotard and got to work taking photos and again it wasn’t working out so well. Continue to try I did and I finally got something I was slightly pleased with. On to editing and again, I should have known.

Try as I might, nothing was working and it just didn’t seem to be going anywhere. After quite a while, maybe two hours, I finally said to myself “You know what, I can force it all I want, but in the end I’ll just be frustrated and dislike the final product.” I realized that it simply would not work. I could try for hours on end, but it just wasn’t worth it. In my heart I knew that I was simply trying to imitate other artists and the image didn’t fit into my currently style.

I gracefully failed and I’m pleased with the fact that I was able to let it go. However, it wasn’t a failure. I succeeded in so many areas because I learned more about myself and my art than I would have had I not tried to create this image.

I learned what I already knew. Shooting against a plain white wall is not my cup of tea and I’m okay with that. Trying to do new things might not work out all the time and that’s okay as long as I try. Giving it your best is always worth it because if it succeeds you know it was done well and if it fails you know you did all you could. And the biggest lesson I learned was that no matter how experienced or talented we are in any area, there will be times we fail. That’s okay because that’s life and when we fail we learn. From those lessons learned we can then begin growing into our full potential.

That is what life is about, failing in order to grow.

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

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