Ongoing Projects and a Fear of Failure

I have lots of ideas…not all great and I don’t like to do things badly. Embarrassing myself is not high on my agenda. This has in the past caused me problems, this gap between what I want to achieve and what I can achieve, the creative gap as Chase Jarvis calls it. My photographer friends are still wondering when I’m going to do my “Urban Legend” Photo shoot I planned three years ago. (Answer is…not soon)…but I’m working on it.

So in the past I’d have ideas, plan them and then end up not doing them as I’d be scared of failure. Nowadays I seem to have moved on a little. I understand that things might not work out as perfectly as I imagine in my head. I also realise that if you don’t actually try to take a photograph then you will never, ever, know if what you want to achieve is possible. Seems obvious but it’s still hard to take that step.

One of the things I’ve found that has helped me out has been to not focus on just one project at a time. As my body of work has built up I’ve seen the things that interest me appear and a sort of style emerge. This has allowed me to continue to add photographs to these disparate projects while still working towards single, one off, ideas. For instance that last trip to London had no real purpose other than to see what London was like and to keep my eye in. On it I managed to get shots of more iconic monuments and some mannequins for ongoing projects. There was no pressure.

As I write this I am continuing to plan my next model shoots for a new Playboy based project, a crime scene set for my wifes book and I’m considering a portrait project. The Playboy shoot requires time, money and resources and is one of those where that fear of failure comes in but the other two are de-stresser shoots that will allow me to keep my eye in helping me to stay  in control of my anxiety and my iPhone when I need to.

So if you are sitting worrying about whether you’ll look stupid or whether your shots will look stupid I’m afraid you just need to FOCUS


2 Responses to “Ongoing Projects and a Fear of Failure”

  1. Miko says:

    Great post, Gordon! Totally understand the fear of failure thing (am always trying to overcome it myself!)so it was nice to read about it from someone else’s perspective. Fantastic image to end the post, as well – very you, very interesting!

    Looking forward to hearing more about the projects you’re getting up to.


  2. […] got round to it. Part of it has to do with time but I think that part of it has to do with that, fear of failure, thing I worry […]

Leave a Reply