What I learned from failing

Failure is ok, and sometimes done is not better than well done.

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What I learned from failing

Aiden Owen, Photography Editor

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My name is Aiden Owen. Some of you may know me from the podcast or you may have read one of my stories. That is beside the point. I am a photographer first and foremost, and I failed.

And that’s ok.

At the beginning of the year, I set out on the ambitious challenge of taking, editing, and posting a photo per day. Just one. That seems simple right? 365 photos in the whole year. That’s easy. I take more photos than that in a single day. (I took over 650 at the senior assembly.)

Boy was I wrong. It’s not easy. In fact, it was one of the hardest things I’ve done. It took more from me than I ever thought it would. I have over 11 thousand photos that I have yet to edit. It also taught me more than anything else could.

1) I need to work on proper time management

Throughout the challenge, I would often leave my photo until the very end of the day, leaving me with very little light (the whole thing that photography is based on) and very little time to actually do my daily task.

Aiden Owen
When the light goes out photography all but ends for the day.

2) I need to work on my priorities

Several times I put the photo ahead of other, often more important things, including a PAYING client. There were multiple nights where I came home, worked on homework until late at night, took the picture, and then saw my family for less than an hour.

Aiden Owen
I prioritized taking, editing, and posting this image over a delivering PAYING client’s images. This image.

3) I need to learn to take care of myself

A lot of these sound repetitive, but I started burning myself out. I cared more about just getting a photo out than I did about posting only quality work that actually represented me. 12 out of the final 30 images were taken with my phone and uploaded with no editing or care about the end result. For comparison, I only took 1 of the 28 images in February with my phone.

Aiden Owen
Some nights I had to get creative and combine photography and homework into the same time frame. I had less than stellar photos and less than stellar grades those nights.

3b) I need to stop being so hard on myself

Several days I would post a photo and then wake up the next morning, look at it, and berate myself for everything I missed in editing the night before. I set myself up for failure and would hate myself for the full day, resulting in a poor drive to do anything, thus having me make terrible images, restarting the cycle.

4) Photography is how I want to spend my life

I developed a passion for photography over the past year or so. This challenge helped hone my skills into a product that I could be proud of. I actually set up a business during this challenge, (2020Exposures) and even started charging for my work.

Aiden Owen
I would never have been able to capture an image of this quality had I not taken on this challenge.

Closing

This challenge may have been rigged to fail, but it was also rigged to teach.

So yeah. I failed. But I’m glad I did.