Perfection. It should be a four letter word.
It’s something that we strive for in almost every aspect of our lives but rarely do we achieve it. Why are we putting so much value on perfection when the imperfections around us are still just as worthy? Maybe its the pressure to create, to be better… Or maybe its self-loathing in one of its worst forms.
Can you ever be perfect? And who measures the perfection?
As a photographer I strive to create stunning, perfect images. Sometimes I do and sometimes there are a few that fall short. They are poorly lit, slightly out of focus or just not what my mind had envisioned at the time. This need for perfection in my art comes from the many, many photography facebook groups that I belong to, photography blogs and from artists that I idolize. I cannot begin to explain how disheartening it is to come home after a shoot and find that your envisioned image is not what you had imagined. I’ll let you in on a secret… Sometimes I self loathe so hard, I cry. Ridiculous right? Because every time I have stressed over that one image, it’s the favorite of the bunch. I just cannot see its beauty because all I can see is the technical imperfection.
A few weeks ago I took my son, Bird, out for his 8th birthday pictures. The light was mesmerizing and the entire shoot fell into place. When I came home and uploaded my images to the computer the one I had waited so long to create was not how I envisioned it. I was so upset at myself for not nailing this shot that it ruined my evening. In fact, I took a few days of self-loathing before I even began to go through and cull his images. They were beautiful. But were they perfect?
It wasn’t until I stumbled on Distorted Beauty that I started to question my insane need to have every image technically correct. You see, they strive to find the beauty in the imperfections and here were photographers from all around the world sharing what I thought were some of the most creative, beautiful images that had flaws. Why could I see the beauty in theirs but not mine?
With a new found sense of courage I went and revisited my imperfect image of Bird from our photoshoot and I submitted it to their theme “still”. I didn’t have enough courage to submit this image to my photography page or even my personal page. Every few days, I would wander on over and view my image… And every day it grew on me.
Today, I am pleased to announce that Distorted Beauty chose that image as their top 10 in that theme.
My image was good enough… even with the imperfections.