I recently attended a lighting workshop with Joe McNally (The Joe McNally One Light, Two Light seminar tour) which I cannot recommend more highly. Joe was affable, informative and gave an excellent full day overview of using small and big flash equipment in a way that made the experience fun and educational. He also wove into his tales of lighting, anecdotes from his storied career working as a photo journalist and National Geographic photographer.
Aside from the great technical advice he gave, one of the more human messages he shared that I think is worth retelling, was this: it’s okay to fail. All photographers will experience that sinking feeling when a shoot isn’t going well, and while few will want to talk about it, just hearing a world class top photographer share his own stories of times things went wrong was a great relief. He also then used the problems to teach how you can avoid them and/or work around them.
I think the message is a good one for anyone who suffers from the feeling that every time they do every single thing they do they have to get it right. He reminded me, and us, that learning is part of the process and that failure can sometimes be your greatest teacher.