One of the harsher realities of... well life, is that failure is always an option. No matter the planning, the talent, the genius, or the luck involved failing is always right outside like the Kool-Aid man ready to burst through unannounced. 

Also ready to stain your carpet.

Also ready to stain your carpet.

So it should be self-evident that failing in photography is not as much an option as it is a guarantee. You will fail to make the picture you want. You will have a plethora of images in your trash, virtual or otherwise, that you've deemed failures. Naturally, talent and experience will space these failures further apart but ironically will expand on what one considers a failure. For example, Richard Avedon considered his now famous photograph of Dovima with Elephants a failure due to the flow of her sash.

Failure?

Failure?

In its infuriating way, failure is an absolute necessity. Failing, and even more what one considers a failure, is one of the best opportunities for and indicators of growth. After all, It's more difficult to recognize why something isn't working if you don't understand how it's supposed to work. Avedon's "failure" above was such to him because he had the talent to know how he could have made it better. Failure opens us up to critically analyzing our work and processes in a way that success doesn't. The failures I made this week aren't ones I'm going to make next week and my work will better for it. 

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