The Fear of Experimentation

It's odd, but sometimes it feels like the more I establish myself as a photographer and find my voice, the harder and harder it is to try something new. You'd think it would be just the opposite - the more your confidence grows the more chances you are willing to take. But no, that simply isn't the case. The fear of failure only grows and it becomes increasingly tempting to stay on familiar ground or with the things you already know how to do. It may sound pompous as all hell, but the more of an audience one achieves, the more pressure you feel not to let them down.

The thing I need to remember is that I don't need to show people my failures. I simply don't. They are mine to have and they are still learning experiences. Or maybe better yet, I don't need to tell people about them. An image is only a failure if I say it is and my interpretation of a photograph's success doesn't have to line up with my audience. Even after twenty years of picking up a camera and making frame after frame, every click is a step toward the next image, not necessarily the image I'm making right now. It's important to remember that. I'm happy to show all the steps along the way...sometimes...but successful or not, I'm still working toward the next frame at all times. With that in mind, running to familiar ground almost seems silly.