Each week, we invite you to ask a question for our writers to answer in a segment called Fstoppers Answers. Last week, we asked how each of our writers found their niche, this week, we invited each of our writers to tell us about 'The Worst Mistake You Ever Made in Your Photographic Career?'
If you have any questions you'd like to have answered, feel free to post them in the comments below. As always, feel free to also chime in with your experiences.
spending too much of my precious times on blogs....
I think it's a mistake to accept EVERYTHING you hear from more experienced photographers. There is a line between words of wisdom and personal opinion.
I have had other photographers (that I look up to) tell me to get out of photgraphy, keep it as a hobby, and do something else instead. They say that photography is dead and the market is rapidly shrinking. I try not to let their jaded thoughts diminish my passion to shoot.
Your success in business is based off of your drive, talent, and positive thinking. Obviously there are real world constraints that prevents every business from flourishing but it's up to you and your passion to see through it and to not quit. I also remind myself that I know who I am so my experience in this industry may be different than theirs. If they are right in the end, at least I tried my best and I will not regret the experience.
All good advice, but Lee Morris' statement about people wanting the best photographer at an affordable price is definitely one many people learn the hard way.
Not having triple backups. I just lost my primary disk and my on site back up at the same time. Costing me all my work over the past 10 years, this morning. Both drives failed at the same time and I can't get either to mount to recover the data.
Spend the money on online backups!
Just so you know, Photojournalist friend had all images backed up to 3 3.5 inch drives. Well, he bought all three drives at the same time. All three were the same manufacture, model etc.... All drives failed at the same exact moment in his hard drive array. He lost years of work like you.
I work in IT with my current employer, as well as their product photographer.
I've worked as a service tech with IBM in their server dept. and in my experience I'm yet to see, even in data centres, more than 2 drives die in the same array at 'once', where the cause isn't firmware or software related (and therefore recoverable). The odds are astronomical for this to occur, especially when you factor in the common platter HDD failure rate
If your array has become corrupted or RAID/HDD controller has died, you can plug those drives into another controller of the same type and spec and read the drive config off the metadata on the drives and recover the data within a few minutes.
Please call a proper IT tech, not a 'Nerd2U' guy in a minivan who has built a computer or two and you should get sorted 99% of the time. Also, Online backups are a bit of a wives tale, I only shoot semi-frequently but I still have 1.4TB of files (I flatten my PSD's too!) Try uploading that through a connection that isn't fibre or the fastest cable/DSL and you'll essentially be uploading for a VERY long time. In the event you had a failure and a deadline looming, you'd have to be confident that you could actually download the files required with time left to re-work (or larger multi-layer PSD's etc..) to meet this.
For backups, IMO, you're better off with a multiple drive system with their replacement planned at/within the warranty period and using them cyclically to keep their work-time to a minimum ergo lifetime up and keep them offsite (fire, theft etc).
P.s. the photographer in me wants to mention that you'll never be able to afford or keep up with the backup styles that keep you the safest, most of the time the simplest are the most effective because complex systems require a lot of movements or actions that can be forgotten and will bring the whole system undone.
I got both the drives at the same time. They were identical units. As far as I've figured out so far is the USB controller on the main drive went because it's not being recognized on any of the four computers I have at hand. If the disk were bad and the controller was still good it'd register as an event when plugged in. The disk still spins up when I apply power, leading me to believe the disk itself might be recoverable if I drop it into a new enclosure. I'll try that today and get a new disk to add into the system.
Dang, the important drive is toast. Dropped it in a new enclosure with not change.
if it's just a dead drive, it's not lost, just send to a recovery service. it's expensive but should recover it.
Being Complacent. Not getting out there shooting, Even thou I have a pretty good work load, not building my portfolio with the type of pictures I love to do. Spending to much time on bh photo's or ebays website looking at stuff I cannot afford anyway. I have a friend who (yes) is a good photographer, but he is a ABSOLUTE work a holic. Day and night, he is shooting editing and working on stores. His photography is good, but so is mine. But because of his HARD WORK, he is getting places. He is a regular photographer for NY times, Wall Street Journal, has been in Time magazine, Again, because he has dedicated his life to the craft. You could even say its his wife. So being lazy about getting further is my HUGE mistake.
Not having my archives organized and having images everywhere is my second hugest mistake.
The worst mistake I made was back in 1989 when an art director at a major record label in NYC called in my portfolio and told me had a female singer and wanted a headshot/photo of her behind a foggy glass window. I discussed the idea with him though I wasn't too thrilled with it as I'd seen that many times before. Like on the cover of every photo magazine in the late 60s. What I should have done was keep my mouth shut, get a model and shoot the shot that night then included the transparencies in my portfolio the next day. Needless to say I didn't get the gig.
Even in a confession Lee throws out some solid wedding photog advice
I've made way too many. Forgetting to charge batteries, letting friends help, accidentally deleting the wrong memory cards etc. It's all a learning process
How come you didn't bother to ask any "women" what their mistakes were? this is not a male only profession!