Failing, is a part of everyone’s career especially a creative’s career. However it can bring you down, and it can also cause one to doubt.
When I embarked on my journey to Palestine, I had high hopes, while simultaneously being terribly nervous. I had never been to a place like Palestine, I didn’t speak Arabic and I didn’t know anyone there. Yet I was ambitious and determined to get the shots that I needed/wanted to be able to tell the story. The story being, “The Shoe Factories of Hebron, Palestine”. It was a side to a Country, which was known only for conflict, and never before for shoe factories. It was a topic and concept till then unexplored and filled with potential.
So I went, met people, made a vast array of mistakes and left. I had got shots, lots of shots and I was momentarily happy and proud of myself. I had managed to capture what I wanted. Despite the problems that I encountered I also encountered so much love, enthusiasm and general admiration for the place and people I met on the way.
I returned to Germany, full of adrenaline, even more ambitious than before. An author contacted me, offering and wanting to write a piece about my series. I was delighted, I truly was. We spent 2 months, discussing, skyping and writing back and forth. Yet to no avail, no avail at all. Every editor, publisher and publication rejected the article and the story. After writing to 10s of magazines etc, there was no shot. Not one single shot. I had failed, truly failed. My first and most ambitious story to date, was a failure. No one cared about it, and no one was interested. It was a huge blow, and terribly frustrating. I am a person with (as many people say) way too high ambitions and goals and this time; I wasn’t even slightly able to achieve them.
Now looking back, I aren’t happy with my photos either, I capture the place, I wrote in depth and honest posts every single day of my journey (those I am still proud of) yet I didn’t do what I set out to do. I didn’t tell their story, I didn’t tell the story of the workers. I had failed, and that is still the opinion I have.
However, now it’s 2017 and I have decided to reembark on the journey for 3 weeks in August. Now that I had made contact with people, they know me, my Arabic is improving, I am generally more experienced and I myself know what I feel is missing; I stand a chance. Am I as ambitious as last time? No, more so. This is my shot, at proving to myself that there is a chance of success; nothing major, just some recognition of appreciation.
So now all of you have been patient enough to read through the first 480 words and I have rambled on, repeated myself and put myself down; some might think to an unnecessary degree. So what’s the moral of the story, what motivational speech am I going to give you readers a kick in the ass to not fail and work as hard as possible?
Well, I’m not. I failed, I got up and I am working as hard as possible to improve and be proud of my work. So if that doesn’t push you to do the same, then rethink your career choices. If you aren’t prepared to fail, get back up again and fight harder than ever before, then it clearly isn’t your passion.