A couple of years ago my friend Rob was droning on at me about “if its worth doing, its worth doing badly”. I ignored him, and this is why I was wrong.
I am a perfectionist. Which is a polite way to say I have such anxiety about rejection and failure that I never release anything. With the weekend approaching, I thought it a good opportunity to offer some advice to those looking to turn from their 9-5 job to photography who also suffer from being a perfectionist.
When out for drinks, my friend Rob told me about just getting it done regardless of how good it is "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing badly", at the time I thought it made him a hack. However, after 2 years of hiding away and making excuses that I can’t show this person my portfolio until XYZ work has been completed or I am not ready to launch my website until I have the following shots, I realized that Rob had a point. You need to swallow your pride/ego/anxiety and just go for it.
It is obviously not as simple as approaching Coca-Cola for an ad campaign a week into having your first camera, but chances are that the next hurdle you are holding back from is already within your reach. So this weekend, I urge you to just get it done and put something out there, even if it isn’t perfect. Pull together a portfolio from what you have or draft up that email to a client you really want to work with and complete the task.
What Is The Worst That Can Happen?
From my experience, there is always another reason to delay. When I first wanted to meet art buyers I had a handful of worldwide campaigns under my belt, but I wanted 10 before I showed anyone new my work, then once I had 10 I wanted to wait for the release of a newer campaign i'd just shot because I thought it was my best work. This continued for a few years. Needless to say, at any point in those two years if I had shown my book to people, worst case scenario would be that I would have ended up exactly where I already was, best case is I would have got a new client. By waiting for my perceived perfection I wasted a good few years and I pretty much stood in my career.
What are you currently holding back on?