Take the Picture
I almost missed it. Between the dropping temperatures and wild, wild, West Texas wind, I almost missed it.
Eight years had passed since we had professional photos taken of my side of the family. We had already planned to have 1 year old pictures of my youngest daughter and decided to include the rest of the family as well. After scheduling with a photographer and 5 other adults, driving 3 hours to my hometown, dressing a 2 ½ and 1 year old, gathering all the gear (thanks, Mom, doing most of that for me), oh, and making sure I was dressed, we finally arrived at the location. The only problem was, the wind and cold had arrived as well.
Have you ever tried to take pictures in the wind? Not like a nice breeze on the beach but West Texas wind? Even Photoshop cannot do much to improve that situation. Getting everyone together was no small feat and the looming possibility of failing to successfully take good pictures left me frustrated. I almost got back in the car and called the whole thing off, just because it might not have worked out.
While a successful photo session is completely a first-world problem, I was reminded of something that day. Expectations determine actions. Sometimes fear renders us immobile. Sometimes the slightest hint of failure results in quitting, or worse, never starting to begin with. I was on the verge of throwing a fit like a child, wanting to pack up the car and go home, just because it was unlikely to work out. I expected failure and didn’t even want to try.
And so it is in life. We see all the reasons not to do something, primarily, the possibility of failure. We cancel the photo session, pack up the car, and go home. Or maybe we don’t even schedule the session to begin with. Yet the irony is, the avoidance of any opportunity, adventure, or a calling based soley on the fear of failure actually results in failure 100% of the time.
Thankfully, there were 5 other adults that day who were seeing beyond a possible failure to a possible success. My family and our fabulous photographer, Deb, reminded me that at the very least it was worth a try. We need people in our corner who will clearly evaluate the situation, see potential pitfalls, and encourage us to move forward anyway. Instead of asking, “What if I fail?” they can remind us of a better question, “What if I succeed?”
I almost missed these faces. I almost missed the joy of a 30 minute speed photography session. I almost missed the laughter as we acted crazy trying to get 2 little girls to smile or as we shivered in the wake of the cold front. I almost missed the beauty of the canopy of trees that blocked most of the wind. But most of all, I almost missed the stories behind the pictures and the smiles that emerge every time I see these printed memories. I almost missed it all.
But I didn’t. Because someone told me, despite a possible failure, to take the picture anyway.