August 25, 2009

The Fear of Failure

Copyright Scott Bourne 2009 - All Rights Reserved

Copyright Scott Bourne 2009 - All Rights Reserved

There is one thing that holds more photographers back than lack of access to good gear, great locations or good looking models. It’s the fear of failure. I am constantly amazed at how fearful some photographers are about going for it. I don’t understand why.

In the digital age, once you have a camera, it costs you nothing to push the shutter button. Why not take a chance?

When I shot slide film it cost me a quarter every time I clicked the button. Now I can shoot with abandon if I want to and have no fear. It’s a risk I can afford and which might yield something big.

On a deeper level, as humans, we often look for crutches (excuses) that will allow us to fail with impunity. Saying something like, “Well if I had a D3 like Scott did I could make that picture too” is an excuse. Guess what? You don’t need my camera – the one you have will almost certainly be fine. Don’t give yourself permission to fail. Go shoot. Get off the couch. Stop trying to make up excuses that allow you to give up.

Imagine just for a moment what your photographic life would be like if, starting tomorrow, you eliminate your fear of failure and live every moment to its fullest. What stories could you tell, what lives could you change, what blessings could you bring?

All my life, I’ve been surrounded by people who tell me I can’t make a living as a photographer. I have family members who STILL to this day wonder when I’m going to get a “real job.” I ignore all of that input. I refuse to fail. I dare to dream big. I have absolutely no fear of failure. Of course it doesn’t hurt that I am too stupid to know I COULD fail – but that’s for another post.


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  1. […] be bold, get out the boat and really go after what I want. As I read this article he wrote entitled “The Fear of Failure”, it brought into perspective many of the ideas that he has been sharing with me. These concepts […]

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