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How failure can improve your photography

Failure is an indication that you are not good at something or that you had a moment of misfortune, but it should never be a sign that you should give up. And in photography is no different, failure will be part of your daily life, and I can say that it is amazing how failure can improve your photography.

Many people let failure keep them from moving forward and end up giving up on something they are doing when in fact they could use it as a guide to growth. If the taste of failure has convinced you to give up in the past, let me show you how to use it to your benefit.

Flaws in photography can be defined in several different ways, so let me show you how failure can improve your photography

How failure can improve your photography

You tried into photography, but it was a disaster!

Perhaps you think, or wish to have, a “natural gift” and be able to take incredible pictures without practice, after all art comes “from within”.

I’ll tell you something, which goes for any artistic branch:

“Without a minimum of training and observation, you can’t go anywhere.”

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In photography, as in any other field, there has always been and always will be a learning curve. You always need to be aware of your surroundings and study what happens around you. Yes, you will have to do a lot more, learning with light works, understanding what your camera is capable of, knowing everything about composition and much more.

Of course, there is always that guy who has a “good eye” for photography, but all people have certain facilities and certain facilities, this is completely natural.

Certain facilities usually don’t apply as much in any industry, and because of that we tend to reach our limits quickly. And over time our work of starts to be the same, as if we only knew how to do that that way, we reach our creative limits.

If you faced the world and looked for a better way out to achieve better results, you are on the right path, because the failure of the past can be the success of the future, we have to remember thing everyday.

Of course, no one is born knowing everything and many people feel more confident when they have some kind of tutor to help them. Then enter your interest in looking for a teacher, or school, somebody that can help you better polish the edges that are present in your work.

You can’t do something simple

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Yes flaws exist, and of course it can be quite humiliating to fail at something simple, you will find yourself incompetent or a complete idiot, but don’t give up as we all went through this, and we will fail in something someday. When you fail at something that you thought would be simple, you probably underestimated how difficult it could be. This is normal, we have all underestimated something thinking that we would do it at first. 

The most important thing here is to know how to be prepared to fall and learn from the fall. Simple things can be a lot of work, so don’t underestimate. We will surely learn much more from your mistakes than in any school!

You can’t reach your vision

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Putting on paper what you imagine is not an easy task, and this is something that will always catch a lot of people by foot. You can know all the settings and buttons of your camera, you can have a vast knowledge about trends and composition, but when it comes to turning this into reality, the it “sucks”.

Again we are at a normal situation in life and failure is a part and is extremely necessary one. Putting ideas to work will always be a very complicated part, as we all have particular ways of seeing things inside our heads. 

Turn this into daily training and work so that these failures are seen only as learning.

You don’t win a competition

Como o fracasso pode melhorar sua fotografia

No matter how dedicated you are to photography, or how much soul you put into your work, you will lose competitions. I do not recommend that anyone as a beginner in anything enters competitions to win, but rather to gather some feedback from evaluators or the public. 

Putting your work together with the work of photographers much more experienced than you to hear what they have to say and thereby improve your work. With this, let failure guide you by telling you where you need to improve, and put your work to the test will be essential, I don’t expect to win anything more than experience in any competition.

Do not be hurt by the people who judge your work, instead listen to what they have to say and keep in mind the points that need improvement.

There are technical imperfections in your photos

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Are you the type of person who can’t handle a technical imperfection? The kind of people who thinks the photo won’t look good just because it didn’t use the “correct settings”?

If this is your case I have two things to tell you:

First of all, relax your attitude towards standards a little and don’t expect your photos to be perfect. For most photographers, only 1% of their photos are what would be worth calling “perfect” photos.

If the same mistakes keep happening you definitely need to find a way to correct them.

Second, embrace imperfections as part of the job. Conditions that you have no control over can lead to imperfect photos, technically, but this  doesn’t stop the work from still being beautiful. Changing your attitude towards mistakes as well as defaults is good and helps you deal with failure.

Your photos don’t excite you

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Everyone has gone through a period where neither the photograph, nor the photos we took were interesting. Or the whole process seemed mechanical and other people’s work seemed to be light years ahead. 

I can say that this is good, after all it is your self-critical sense telling you to look for something different. Of course, I’m not telling you to give up photography, but to look inside it for something to light up that same flame that made you buy the first camera. 

Looking for why you do something is always a good thing, but why do not have profit in this search. You will find a way to make things different and will enjoy not just the process but also the results.

Your photos don’t excite other people

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No matter how hard we try we will never be able to please everyone, this is a fact. And in photography it’s the same thing, you can’t please everyone. There will be people who say that your photos have no “soul” or that you could have done better here or there, all of this is normal.

There will always be that more experienced photographer or that editor that will reject your work, get used to it. This does not mean that you are a failure in photography, it just says that the work just wasn’t interesting for them, and you will have to find people who likes your work.

This situation can bring you is a huge step forward to become a better photographer, able to please some people, not every one.

Never grow up, this is real failure

Como o fracasso pode melhorar sua fotografia

No matter what the reason you think you are a failure, none of this is an excuse for not growing up. Falling and getting up is one of the first things you learn in life. Dealing with failure is something we all have to learn, sooner or later.

In photography, failure will be part of your trajectory, so learning to listen to what people have to say is good, everything that can help you grow is good. 

Never listening to criticism, never trying to improve, keep doing the same things and making the same mistakes, this is a failure.

Do you have anything to say? want to share something? Do you just want to vent? Use the comments.

Written by Rix Mascarenhas

Rix Mascarenhas is a photographer, videographer, and drone pilot at

Art lover, always involved with crafts, design, painting etc... As a photographer, I enjoy taking pictures and creating stories that have meaning and help people to thrive. My work is guided by the stories behind each scene that really represent the moment.


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