Looking back on missed creative opportunities.

Looking back on missed creative opportunities.

Read Time: 5 minutes

Make photos, dump them on a hard drive, pick one or two to post to Instagram, rinse and repeat. But how often do we take time to enjoy the images we missed? Are we missing creative opportunities due to haste?

I’ve missed out on so much

This winter has been brutal on my creatively. Between busy life schedules, terrible weather, and a polar vortex (which lets be honest, sounds incredibly super hero/sci-fi cool doesn’t it?!) I’ve not been out making images at all.

Seriously, I think that aside from 2 rolls of 120 film I’ve maybe made a handful of images at best since last December. It’s got me so frustrated because I feel like I’ve squandered an entire season without creating anything.

I’ve simply missed out on some of my favorite shooting conditions, that amazing winter light.

Hopefully not all is lost

I’m pretty sure that at some point I’ve talked about it before here. The idea of taking time to go back to old work we never had a chance to do anything with. But aside from the occasional wander down Lightroom’s memory lane, I never do anything with it.

With the best intentions I tell myself that since I can’t get out creating new work I’m going to finally take time to work on the growing mass of older work that I’ve never had a chance to properly look at and enjoy. This will be how I stay productive and stay creating even though I can’t be out creating new work.

Then two days later that resolve is gone. Forgotten and discarded just like the work I’m wanting to spend time with. The chaos of life right now makes finding time to sit down at my computer seem impossible.

So what do we do? How do we fix this?

I have no idea. I wish I had a definitive answer, a magic bullet, a secret tactic to stop this cycle. Instead I feel like an image hoarder. Creating photographs whenever I can, sharing a couple but never letting the rest see the light of day.

The thing is, I know I’m not alone in this.

Maybe it’s because we have a major lack of self confidence in our work. We feel like we don’t have anything important to say. Does anyone even care if I share it, it’s not like many people see it when I do share it. So why bother?

How many times have you said these very things to yourself?

I’m not going to get into it here, at least not in this article, but I’ve struggled with this in a big bad way for ages. I’ll go for weeks or months feeling pretty ok about it all, then BOOM!

Self doubt bodyslams me through a table and I’m suddenly back in the corner hiding because I’m not good enough anyways so no one needs to see what I’m creating.

It sucks. It really does.

There’s really only one thing to do

My good friend Tony shared a post on Facebook that you can find below. I don’t know who the original author or creator was and I don’t claim any rights to it. But the message is too good not to share.

No photo description available.
Truth Bomb

This message hit me hard. My growth, my success, my failure… it’s all MY RESPONSIBILITY.

When I think about all of the fantastic and even all of the not so fantastic photos that I’ve made in the past. All of the potentially great stories that I’ve been documenting but never sharing. The sheer amount of creative opportunity that I may have missed out on because of my own self doubt is staggering.

There is no one to blame but myself. Wallowing in regret or missed chances is worthless as well. The ONLY thing to do is to make a commitment to just do the work. Stay productive or take a break if needed. Simply realize that it’s completely up to me to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

Here are a few images from my untouched archives that I’ve recently re-discovered. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

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One thought on “Looking back on missed creative opportunities.

  1. Yikes. I just composed a brilliant comment here on my phone and Poof, it disappeared when up came “comment is spam.” Don’t know what I messed up. Not rewriting it. However need to ask you something: Would you ever consider being a judge in the annual photo contest at Northwoods Friends of the Arts in Cook? It’s coming up soon. Contest details are posted on http://www.NWFAMN.ORG There are usually around 100 entries. We consider this a FUNdraiser. We have had three judges each year. Let me know via email so I can tell the other board members.

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