Photography: Where a 1% Success Rate is a Win

This afternoon, Sam put on a super hero cape that happened to coordinate with his shirt.  And I had to take a photo.

We went outside and I took 94 photos.  Ninety-four.  And the one above is the one I really like.  1/94 isn't the best success rate, but I consider it a win. 

I recently listened to a talk from Kirsten Bethmann.  She's an amazing documentary, family, photographer.  She said she uses about 10% of her images.  Hearing that made me breathe a sigh of relief.  It felt good to know even a true pro like Kirsten doesn't have a 100% success rate.

It's one of the things I really love about digital photography.  We can take a shot, look at it, think about it, learn from it, and take another right away hopefully with better results.  We can try something new, take a risk, without really paying any price (I'll admit I would never have loved this hobby in the days of film). 

Below I share some of the shots I took.  I blame some of my failures on an un-cooperative subject.  (Let's put a lot of the blame there).  But with each shot, I learned, changed something, and eventually got the shot I'm happy to have.

Changes are necessary.  If I take 94 shots standing in the same spot, with the same settings, approaching from the same angle, I'll get 94 identical images.  (And if you want to know what to think about when making changes, sign up for my workshop!).

And I know you've heard it before, but we really can't compare our full folder of images with the highlight reel of anyone else.  Chances are they have a good number of duds too.

So go out there, take many shots, experiment, make changes with each click, and know it's OK to have just a few willing to put in a frame.