Stress and a Desire to Succeed

Children in Front of Fireplace

I find it hard to believe that someone wouldn’t have stress or anxiety while doing an assignment they care about. “Fear of Failure” is “Desire to do Good’s” little brother. We spend time researching, scouting, prepping gear all so when we get to the location everything goes as smooth as possible and excellent images are produced.

I think it’s safe to say, it’s almost second nature for photographers and probably every profession in the world, to want to be successful. With that desire comes a fear of failure. A fear of trying the best we can but still not meeting the requirements  for the project. Fear of failure is also what inhibits some artists from ever picking up a camera or paintbrush. This fear manifests itself in stress and anxiety.

Here’s an example:

A large company has asked you to photograph their CEO on the streets of New York for an advertisement.  You’ve decided to photograph him standing in the middle of the crosswalk facing the same direction as the stopped traffic. You will have two assistants who are carrying your lights. To make matters worse you’ve only been given five minutes because the CEO is on his way to a meeting.

That sounds like an awesome assignment. That might also sound scary and impossible. Either way everyone responds to stress differently. Some might attempt to avoid it at all costs, while for others it gives them an adrenaline rush. The only wrong way to handle stress would be paralysis. You can’t grow as a photographer or human if you are doing nothing.

We all have stress in our lives because we want to succeed and to put it simply, we care. Maybe the next time you’re placed in a stressful situation, whatever it may be, you will be able to remember that.


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