Mistake is the hardest kind of failure: it's one thing to fail because you weren't ready or because of bad luck, but when the fault is yours, it is hardest on your ego and your confidence moving forward. I was thinking, today I will just talk about three mistakes I made, from small to big and what I learned from them. In general though it helps to process mistake as any other failure: anticipate they will happen, deal with your emotions, analyze what went wrong and make changes to avoid repeating this type of mistake in the future.
Ok, let's looks at some examples. First one. A client comes for a photoshoot with her husband, but it doesn't look like the husband is in supportive mood. The HMUA decides to go with red lips for the makeup and client likes this idea, but the husband disapproves. We ask client again about the lips, but she wants to keep them red. During the photoshoot doubt and loss of confidence make the client extremely stiff and at the end the result is not up to par. What mistakes did I make? A bunch, first being not paying enough attention to client's interactions. I needed either to ask the husband to wait in nearby cafe to pick my client up afterwards or to involve him as well in constructing the look, I choose to ignore the issue - mistake #1. Mistake #2 was not changing a look - I needed to tell the HMUA to suggest another option. Mistake #3 of course is proceeding with the shoot when I already saw the result isn't going to look well. Luckily this mistake was easy to correct - we did another shoot with softer look and we scheduled it for midday on Tuesday so client came by herself. As soon as I "solved the case", confidence was restored.
Second one. I was working with a new agency and, after being slightly pressured, I agreed to send the model all unedited photos from the photoshoot. Big mistake - model sees 300 pictures some of them very similar, she doesn't know which one to pick (and doesn't even have software for it) and compares them with already picked and edited pictures on my website. Of course model complains to the agency. I tried to fix this one by picking some pictures myself, but first impression was already made and model said she won't use them. To my surprise I saw them 2 weeks later on agency website and of course I asked the model what's happening, creating even more buzz around this unfortunate situation. So here is the first mistake - acting on emotions (frustration) and loosing contact with not only model, but the agency as a result. I would deal much better if I would allow myself a few days before contacting agency about this misunderstanding. And here is one correction I made: the bulk of all pictures is not what client should see as a first result of my work. Even if it's important for the client to make the selection, I will send 2-3 edited pictures first and then sit with them to pick in my Lightroom and show them a bit of Lightroom-Photoshop magic on the way (liquify if normally their favorite trick:)). As soon as I saw that new procedure is working and had several happy clients, my confidence returned to me.
The biggest mistake I made to this point was when I got fired from the job I really loved in ECAL. In short, I put myself under unnecessary stress and I got myself sick and got fired as a result. I was tough and felt unfair, but I learned an important lesson: job - any job - comes third after health and after family. As for my confidence, anger that I had from that situation made for some great fuel: I went to Mongolia for one of my biggest projects, moved to the US, did several exhibitions and master-classes, and, to be honest, I feel like I am still not done.