I’ll never forget Matt Kloskowski telling me to slow down. In a world where everything is instant, Matt told me to slow down when it came to the process of retouching.; do a bit then step away and return with fresh eyes. By doing so you instantly see if you’ve done too much, not enough or what you need to do, and this is advice I’ve passed on to many folks since.
Another invaluable piece of advice was from my friend Jesús Ramirez…
Keep a Thank You folder in your email inbox and any time you get a thank you email drag it in there to keep and every now and again go and read some of the emails especially when you’ve received a s*&%$y one.
I can’t tell you how valuable this is.
It’s human nature that no matter how many positives we receive, it’s the negatives that stand out and that we remember. Having a Thank You folder helps BIG time!
I don’t mind admitting that recently I’ve had a bit of a wobble with my 39-45 Portraits Project.
Long story short is that I had to cancel a date that had been set aside to travel a 5 hour round trip to photograph a veteran. The date I’d suggested was a ‘tentative’ due to the fact that we have sold our house and are now waiting for a move date, however I ended up having to cancel the date due to a meeting that has come up with a company I am now doing some work with. I make no apology for having to make money outside of the project and heck with the amount of portraits I’m taking, it’s a numbers game that some will have to be postponed from time to time.
Needless to say the reaction I received in a WhatsApp message wasn’t expected. Being told that I “clearly don’t care” and this particular veteran “doesn’t mean as much to you” I’ll admit did make me question what I’m doing.
I’ll add here though that the message wasn’t from the veteran or indeed a member of their family but rather from a 3rd party who’s intentions are questionable I believe due to frustration of not getting a picture they wanted for a book they are helping to write and eventually sell for profit.
However it was yesterday afternoon when I received a message from the daughter of World War 2 Veteran, Squadron Leader Eric Robinson OBE that lifted me and gave me the much needed slap across the chops.
In addition to a lovely text I received this video clip of Eric seeing his portrait for the first time…
Honestly, I’ve lost count how many times I’ve played the video but each time I do I can’t help but smile.
In addition to this, just this morning I received a text messaage from World War 2 Veteran John King who served with the Royal Navy (HMS Janus) and had just received his portrait parcel delivered by Royal Mail…
Especially with all that’s going on in the world at the moment a Thank You folder is invaluable.
No matter how positive we may be, we are only human and from time to time each and everyone of us needs a lift. When you’ve had a knock back or are doubting what you do, as I posted about previously (LINK), reading messages in your Thank You folder can turn it around.
*Oh and this is the portrait of John that he received this morning…