We are often told to approach mistakes and errors with aversion. This year, however, why not adopt a different perspective and learn from these photography mistakes instead? No matter how silly or simple they may be, they all provide us with opportunity to grow and realize our potential.

This mindset is what Alex Kilbee of The Photographic Eye wanted to inspire in us in the video above. First, he brings us back to the days of the contact sheet. These prints serve as windows into the creative process of photographers past. We don’t always see this process, only the best and published photos. However, a close look at what doesn’t make the cut tells a lot about what else was happening in the scene, and how the photographer was exploring them. It also demystifies the idea of a perfect shot, and instead shows us that great photos don’t just happen.

He also reminds us that mistakes are inevitable in every creative process because they are part of trial and error. As we test our ideas and techniques out, mistakes tell us what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes, it also makes us realize that what many would consider as flaws can actually add character or dimension to the impact or narrative.

Which photography mistakes changed your photography for the better? What did you learn out of them? Share your insights and lessons learned with us in the comments below, or in our group discussion if you’re already part of the Photofocus Community!