Trying New Things

I was reading a book recently and in it one character accuses another of not trying things if they weren't sure they would be good at those things. Basically one character only does what is comfortable, what they know they will succeed at. Here I was, sitting in my window seat, minding my own business and this novel decided to personally attack me! I mean, that is me. I am that person who is afraid of doing things when I'm not sure how well I will perform them--especially on a rather public stage like the Internet. I am more willing to attempt new recipes when the only witness to my kitchen disasters are my husband, but the thought of trying to photograph and share recipes on my blog when they don't always go well and I'm not experienced at food photography terrifies me. What if all the cupcakes end up lopsided? What if they turn out ok but my pictures make them look unappetizing? What if, what if, what if? Sometimes it feels as if I have endless creative ideas (although trust me, sometimes the opposite is true!), but I'm too afraid to actually try to make them happen. I have little notes of ideas listed and never attempted. Take the above photograph; it's a forced perspective picture and idea I have had for some time. But I didn't go out and shoot it until yesterday because I've never taken this kind of picture before, I don't have any Photoshop skills (I don't even have Photoshop itself to edit with!), and what if I couldn't make it work? What if it just looked terrible? What if it ended up just being a headache and waste of time? Wouldn't it be better to spend that time taking a more traditional photograph with my bicycle that I know will look good? The truth is: you're never good at the beginning. When you try something new you won't be very good at first. The key to trying new things is accepting that you will be bad--perhaps even terrible--or maybe you'll be tolerable, but all of those options leave you with room for improvement. I'm not a fan of that "what if I fall, but what if I fly?" scenario because it implies that falling is the end, flying straight out the bat is the goal. What if instead of avoiding failure or worrying about it, we embraced it and accepted it as a necessary part of growth? So, I'm trying to challenge myself a bit this summer to try more of those ideas I've had and (the truly terrifying part) to share the results even when they're less than amazing. Sharing it is perhaps the scariest part, because I don't have the small blog I had back when I was first learning photography and getting comfortable with my style. Today if I share something I know it will reach a certain amount of people, some with expectations, some only too eager to share their less than favorable opinions, but I also know most are here with me: always eager to learn new things, encouraging to others, and perhaps also needing that push to try...For me, I know I'll never be amazing at forced perspective photographs or food photography or what-have-you, if I don't start actually trying and learning. Some creative ideas might be destined for failure or abandonment as my interest wanes, but sometimes it's not about the end result, it's having the courage to attempt something new. 


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