Photo courtesy Rhed Pixel

When you’re on a photo shoot and things are going bad; i.e., the camera isn’t working, your CF card won’t format, your flash trigger won’t talk to the flash, the model is late, the location is wrong, the client is hard to work with – stop – reset – start over – clear your mind.

People who race cars have a saying – “A racer will never let something that has already happened affect what is happening now.” In racing, you just don’t have time to worry about the fact that you missed the apex of that last turn or that you accelerated too soon coming out of the pits. In racing, you can only think about the stuff that’s happening now and into the next turn. Otherwise, you’re in real trouble.

I’ve applied this philosophy successfully to my photography for many years. When stuff goes wrong for me – and believe me – it does, then I simply reset. I shake it off. I stop thinking about it immediately and start thinking about what’s next. The longer you sit there and dwell on what isn’t working, the longer it will be before you get to a place where it IS working.

Photography (like racing) is mostly mental. I’ll close with a quote by the late, great race driver Ayrton Senna. “With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.”

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