I Hate All of My Photos

That's not a typo. Even the shots I love, I hate. Let me explain, or at least try to.

In today's landscape of instant gratification, social media, likes & loves, it's too easy to get a false sense of security in your art.
Comments, Likes, Loves...these are all great things. They show folks are engaged enough with my photos to interact, and I love interacting with all of you.  I must be posting good stuff, right? 

This is how it goes from my side. By the time a photo makes its way to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or my website, I've already seen it at least four times (likely more). I have analyzed it, edited it, perhaps edited it a second or third time, placed a watermark on it, and made it into a web-friendly size. 
All I see by this point is what's wrong with it.  'Oh, I could have done this to make it better' or 'I wish I had done this' or 'I missed this opportunity' or 'If my shutter speed was X instead of Y this would have happened'.

Allow me to present one of my most popular photos: David R's Patina Oval.

                      The  FIRST EVER  Patina car to be featured in Hot VWs Magazine

                     The FIRST EVER Patina car to be featured in Hot VWs Magazine

This shot was a big deal. It was the FIRST EVER Patina car to get a feature in Hot VWs Magazine. The first, EVER.   

I spent over three hours editing this shot.  I've sold quite a few prints of this photo, I have it framed and hanging in my home, and it was a two-page spread in the magazine. 
All I see is the shadow across the old screen door to the left of the bug's hood. I could have killed that shadow with a fourth flash inside the barn, but I completely missed it at the time.  It's still an awesome shot, and I love it, but at the same time I hate it. 
Does that make sense? I don't know, but that's how it is in my head.

I'm like this with Every. Single. Photo. It's never good enough. I love it, and I hate it. 
Maybe it's a case of being a perfectionist, or my own worst critic, but that's a job somebody has to do. Right? 

I try to take it as an opportunity to learn, and plan for future photo shoots and events. Gathering up all that introspection and self criticism, and turning it into a positive during the next shoot, and the next shoot, and the next event, and the next event... Remember what I learned from this shot, and that shot, and apply it here. 

Always evaluating, always learning, always humble, always grateful for your attention.

Are you ready? I'm ready.
Eric

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