Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

As many of you know my hobby is driving and collecting race cars. I should preface this by saying, I am not built for driving race cars. I am built for playing football – which I did for 14 years. But in my heart, I have always been a race car driver. I have never won – really. If I finish in the middle of the pack I FEEL like I won. I race for pure joy. It’s impacted my life in many ways. It’s improved my photography. Read on to see how.

There’s a great book which I highly recommend to everyone, not just race car drivers. It’s a love story about life told from a dog’s point of view. It’s called The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Here’s a quote from the book that I find relevant for photographers (or anyone in life who aspires to be better.)

“There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.”
― Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

Many of you contact me and say you’re afraid to go on a photo walk or attend a workshop because you are a rank beginner. So what? We were all rank beginners when we started out. Joe McNally wasn’t born knowing how to use a Speedlight. Jerry Ghionis wasn’t born knowing how to shoot a wedding. Paul Strand wasn’t born knowing how to document life with a camera. Each was a rank beginner at some time. Then they practiced and then they improved.

But to practice requires an action. It means not caving into your fears and deciding you will suck before even trying. So remember: Failure is not the thing to fear. Fear of failure is the thing to fix.

Pick up a camera. Record a moment in time. Keep it, protect it and share it. If it doesn’t work out the first time or the 1000th time, do it again.

I’m rooting for you.


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