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$element.attr("href") : false }, options); this.element = $element; $element.on("click", function(e) { e.preventDefault(); Offcanvas.show($this.options.target); }); this.element.data("offcanvas", this); }; OffcanvasTrigger.offcanvas = Offcanvas; UI["offcanvas"] = OffcanvasTrigger; $doc.on("click.offcanvas.uikit", "[data-prl-offcanvas]", function(e) { e.preventDefault(); var ele = $(this); if (!ele.data("offcanvas")) { var obj = new OffcanvasTrigger(ele, UI.Utils.options( ele.attr("data-prl-offcanvas"))); ele.trigger("click"); } }); })(jQuery, jQuery.UIkit);; (function($) { "use strict"; $.fn.jAccordion = function() { var $this = $(this); $this.find("section").each(function(idx) { var section = $(this); if (idx === 0) section.addClass('active').find( 'div.acc-content').slideDown(); section.find('a.head').on("click", function() { var handle = $(this); handle.parent().toggleClass('active'); if (handle.parent().hasClass('active')) { handle.next('div.acc-content').slideDown(); } else { handle.next('div.acc-content').slideUp(); } return false; }); }); }; })(jQuery);; (function($) { $.fn.jflickrfeed = function(settings, callback) { settings = $.extend(true, { flickrbase: 'http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/', feedapi: 'photos_public.gne', limit: 20, qstrings: { lang: 'en-us', format: 'json', jsoncallback: '?' }, cleanDescription: true, useTemplate: true, itemTemplate: '', itemCallback: function() {} }, settings); var url = settings.flickrbase + settings.feedapi + '?'; var first = true; for (var key in settings.qstrings) { if (!first) url += '&'; url += key + '=' + settings.qstrings[key]; first = false; } return $(this).each(function() { var $container = $(this); var container = this; $.getJSON(url, function(data) { $.each(data.items, function(i, item) { if (i < settings.limit) { if (settings.cleanDescription) { var regex = /<p>(.*?)<\/p>/g; var input = item.description; if (regex.test( input)) { item.description = input.match( regex)[ 2] if (item.description != undefined) item.description = item.description .replace( '<p>', '').replace( '</p>', ''); } } item['image_s'] = item.media .m.replace('_m', '_s'); item['image_t'] = item.media .m.replace('_m', '_t'); item['image_m'] = item.media .m.replace('_m', '_m'); item['image'] = item.media .m.replace('_m', ''); item['image_b'] = item.media .m.replace('_m', '_b'); delete item.media; if (settings.useTemplate) { var template = settings.itemTemplate; for (var key in item) { var rgx = new RegExp( '{{' + key + '}}', 'g'); template = template.replace( rgx, item[ key ]); } $container.append( template) } settings.itemCallback.call( container, item ); } }); if ($.isFunction(callback)) { callback.call(container, data); } }); }); } })(jQuery); (function(a) { a.fn.jqinstapics = function(b) { var c = { user_id: null, access_token: null, count: 10 }; var d = a.extend(c, b); return this.each(function() { var b = a(this), c = "https://api.instagram.com/v1/users/" + d.user_id + "/media/recent?access_token=" + d.access_token + "&count=" + d.count + "&callback=?"; a.getJSON(c, function(c) { a.each(c.data, function(c, d) { var e = a("<a/>", { href: d.link, target: "_blank" }).appendTo(b), f = a("<img/>", { src: d.images.thumbnail .url }).appendTo(e); if (d.caption) { f.attr("title", d.caption .text) } }) }); if (d.user_id == null || d.access_token == null) { b.append( "<li>Please specify a User ID and Access Token, as outlined in the docs.</li>" ) } }) } })(jQuery); (function($) { "use strict"; $.fn.fitVids = function(options) { var settings = { customSelector: null }; if (!document.getElementById('fit-vids-style')) { var div = document.createElement('div'), ref = document.getElementsByTagName('base')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0], cssStyles = '&shy;<style>.fluid-width-video-wrapper{width:100%;position:relative;padding:0;}.fluid-width-video-wrapper iframe,.fluid-width-video-wrapper object,.fluid-width-video-wrapper embed {position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;}</style>'; div.className = 'fit-vids-style'; div.id = 'fit-vids-style'; div.style.display = 'none'; div.innerHTML = cssStyles; ref.parentNode.insertBefore(div, ref); } if (options) { $.extend(settings, options); } return this.each(function() { var selectors = ["iframe[src*='player.vimeo.com']", "iframe[src*='youtube.com']", "iframe[src*='youtube-nocookie.com']", "iframe[src*='kickstarter.com'][src*='video.html']", "object", "embed" ]; if (settings.customSelector) { selectors.push(settings.customSelector); } var $allVideos = $(this).find(selectors.join(',')); $allVideos = $allVideos.not("object object"); $allVideos.each(function() { var $this = $(this); if (this.tagName.toLowerCase() === 'embed' && $this.parent('object').length || $this.parent( '.fluid-width-video-wrapper').length ) { return; } var height = (this.tagName.toLowerCase() === 'object' || ($this.attr( 'height') && !isNaN( parseInt($this.attr( 'height'), 10)))) ? 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What I Learned From Failing

Failure isn't fun.  It's uncomfortable at best to be bad at something.  However, most of our best-learned lessons come out of failing.  It's through failing that we learn how to pick ourselves up and carry on.  It's through failing that we learn how to do something the right way in the end.  Here's a few times I really failed at something in photography and what I learned in the process.

Behind-the-scenes photograph of landscape photographer Audrey Cramer looking back up the trail

5. I Failed at Customer Satisfaction


Photography, like many other professions out there, is a customer service job at its core.  It's about gaining customers, who pay you money in exchange for your goods or services, and making those customers happy with their purchase.  If you cannot perform this part of the job, then you will not be in business very long at all.


I've made more than one client unhappy with me.  Sometimes it has been with the overall quality of my work (which to be fair, was lacking a bit at the time).  Sometimes it has been with the way I handled a situation (perhaps also deserved).  Either way, I've walked away from a business transaction with dissatisfied customers on the other end.  It's not pretty and it sure doesn't feel good.  One such story will be briefly discussed later on.


As I worked to scrape myself off the floor from every bad customer service experience, I learned lessons about how customers and clients want to be treated.  I also learned to improve myself and what I had to offer to better satisfy customers in the future.  While I can't please everybody (no one can), I have made strides to minimize the number of unhappy customers I have in the future.  My quality of work is much better and I work harder to properly set expectations and to meet deadlines.  I try to remember that, in most cases, the customer is right.  When the customer is not right, I try to gently educate him or her to remedy the situation.  I'm constantly working on customer service.

4. I Failed at Wedding Photography


When I started working on building a photography business, I fell into the thought process that I needed to be a wedding photographer since that's where I thought the money was for me.  Indeed, wedding photography can be very lucrative but not where I was living at the time.  That area of the world leans towards very cheap weddings.  I should know.


I tried very hard to get a wedding gig for a long time.  When I managed to land one, I did try my very best to make the photos into something special.  What I really needed was to shadow and study under a current wedding photographer.  I picked up several tips from being a guest at a couple weddings.  Still, it wasn't enough for me to learn how to become a proper wedding photographer.


Finally, I really failed at making one particular bride happy with her photos.  The things she had to say about me and my work really hurt.  Those words cut deeply.  Still, I began to realize just how much I didn't actually enjoy wedding photography.  It was a huge time-suck to try and land a client.  It was a huge time-suck to shoot the wedding.  It was also a huge time-suck to get everything ready for the client and I didn't enjoy any of it.  With the stinging words of my last wedding client still in my ears, I walked away from wedding photography.  I'm still failing at wedding photography today but dropping it cleared the way for me to find something I like much better.

3. I Failed at Portrait Photography


Portraiture is another kind of photography which I thought I had to do in order to make money.  You can probably see where this is going from how I failed at wedding photography.  You'd mostly be right.  Portraits are a staple of the area I lived but they are also on the cheap side of things.


I was a bit more successful at landing portrait clients than wedding clients at first.  I had a fair few clients.  However, once I realized that I was vastly undercharging, I lost the few clients I had.  I wasn't good enough to charge the new prices I was asking and they knew it.  They also knew they didn't have the money for those prices either.


Without the money for a dedicated studio space, I was forced to go with outdoor portraits.  I really enjoyed working outdoors.  What I failed at was working with people.  Posing is not my forte.  I also failed to connect with people and make their portraits memorable.  It didn't feel good when I decided to cut portrait work out.  Still, I had already cut weddings so I was getting used to the idea.  To this day, I'm still a failure at portrait photography but dropping it made room for me to find a kind of photography I did enjoy and could connect with.

2. I Failed at Running a Photography Business


When someone first mentioned to me that I could run a photography business, it sounded like a good idea.  It sounded like something easy for me to do and I could indulge my new hobby of photography while making money along the way.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Photograph of a Cramer Imaging landscape photo on a laptop computer screen for commercial use

For the first several years, I failed at running a photography business.  I couldn't get any clients to look my way unless I personally knew them.  Then, they were advertising how cheap I was.  Not how good I was, not how amazing my photography was, not how pleased they were with my work, it was how cheap I was.  After that painful realization, I tried changing my prices.  The small trickle of clients immediately evaporated.

Photograph of a desk surface with the Cramer Imaging website up on a laptop screen

I spent several years trying to figure out how to run a photography business on my own.  I started doing some study into running a business.  I learned how to build my website from scratch.  I learned how to work social media and to do search engine optimization.  I built an email subscriber list.  I put a lot of work into learning and applying knowledge for running a business and it's finally starting to pay off for me.

1. I Failed at Photography


To say that I was good at photography one day just because I decided to pick up a camera would be a lie.  I suffered from the Dunning–Kruger effect badly.  When I picked up a camera, I thought that almost every photo I took was gold.  I was so blinded by what I didn't know that I couldn't see to improve for a while.  I couldn't hear what my professors and classmates were telling me.  I couldn't hear what my clients were saying with their silence either.

Photo of professional landscape photographer Audrey with camera in hand taking a picture by Cramer Imaging

It took a while of me just flat-out failing for me to realize what was going on.  When it hit me, it hurt.  It really hurt.  I didn't like that I was bad at something I was interested in.  It had been a while since I had seriously picked up something and experienced failure to that degree.  I wasn't ready for it to hit so hard.

Photograph of landscape photographer Audrey Cramer checking the back of her camera on a photo shoot

Thanks to realizing I was failing, I was able to take up some serious study in photography and make slow improvements over time.  I have finally gotten to the point where I take a few photos I consider to be gold again.  It's nowhere near the level of confidence I once had in my photography, but I can consistently create at least one good photo a photo shoot now.  All I need, most of the time, is that one good photo and I've gotten what I need.

Conclusion


Life is about trying and failing until you get it right or decide it's not worth it for you and you give up.  Either decision can be an overall win.  If you keep at it, you usually figure out the right way to do things in the end.  If you give up, you make room in your life to find something which will interest you more.

I had several rounds of serious failure at something related to photography.  I still continue to fail but I keep working at it.  Eventually, I'll get it right.  As I fail and eventually get it right, I'll learn how to be better at both photography and running a photography business.  Hopefully, some of my failures will help you avoid some pitfalls if you decide to take up photography.

Have you run into some failures which you feel like sharing?  Share them in the comments section below.  That way, we can all learn together and hopefully avoid a few pitfalls along the way.

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