The internet is full of the “BEST OF” anthologies from any category one wishes to direct their voyeuristic energies. I thought, what the heck, I’d make a slight deviation from the norm and indulge in a self deprecating list of photography-related mistakes. After all, the mistakes we make often teach us best, even though the edge is a bit sharp and visceral. Now this is not a comprehensive list, but rather some recent ones that came to mind first. Hopefully, they are worth a little laugh, as retrospection upon bad events often turns slightly humorous with time.
- WHAT IS MY OCCUPATION?
After a morning of preparing for a photo assignment which involved the portrait of a CEO–you know, they usually don’t have that much time and are not all that excited about having their photo taken–my car was fully packed and I headed off with my assistant. Upon arrival, I soon realized I forgot one critical item. My camera bag.
- I’M NOT FEELING SO WELL:
One day I woke up to a phone call regarding a photo of mine that was published in a advertising campaign. I got the call because the person who was in the picture, definitely should not have been in the picture. It was one of those very unfortunate mistakes. It cost me a few thousand dollars in payment for shredded printed products. That one won’t happen again–I hope.
- THE ANTICHRIST?
Each year I design and publish a nature calendar. Last year, it was a bad day when I realized that I placed Good Friday on a Saturday, along with a few other notable Holiday/date errors. I can’t explain how it happened. But I can tell you, it won’t happen again. I even got some hate mail over that one. Really, it was a bad mistake, but Satan did not make me do it. After all, isn’t Easter about forgiveness?
- THEFT AND THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE:
I took my 10 yr old nephew to Belize in February of 2009 and we had an absolute blast exploring the region. On the last evening prior to flying out of Cancun, Mexico, our car was broken into in broad daylight on busy main street in downtown Cancun. My Canon 5D Mark II, 16-35 and 70-300 DO, got circulated into the Mexican rip-off market. Moral of the story: never rent a cheap car without a security system, and never go to Cancun.
- SWIMMING WITH A CAMERA:
I should add, without an underwater housing. It was a bad scene fraught with a multitude of perfectly synchronized mistakes. On a wilderness river trip I took my Canon 5 D Mark II for a swim, along with its faithful companion, the 24-105. The canoe did not roll, but I did. The Canon coroners signed both items off as irreparable, and this in conjunction with the previous loss noted above, caused my insurance company to sign me off as too risky.
- FLASH CARD DANCE:
After a very busy, busy morning of shooting 16GB of images, I pulled the full flash card out of the camera, had a fresh card in one hand to exchange, but I mistakenly put the used card back in the camera and formatted it. Fortunately I used data rescue to recover the files, but it was annoying.
- SMART PHONE STUPIDITY:
Yup, I did it. Almost had and accident. This, is a very stupid thing to do. Using your IPhone while driving.
After an impact laceration on my forehead, I went to a local emergency center. They weighed me, measured me and took my blood pressure. Then a PA glued my cut with “Durabond” which is an expensive medical equivalent of superglue. I left 10 minutes later and $500 poorer. A few days later, while camping in remote Alaska, I realized the glue separated. I fumed in silence over a terribly faulty system. Wilderness First Responder Training is on deck for the spring of 2010.
- TIME VS. MONEY:
The collective mistake I’ve made throughout my business career is spending too much time trying to save money, instead of spending more time making money. Not that money is the end all, but a successful business model knows the difference, and knows when to focus on one or the other.
- THE JOUST:
On a cool autumn day I learned that driving in my home town can be more dangerous than photographing Alaska’s large carnivores. The details are beyond this little mention, but in summary: I nearly died in a vacant store parking lot in which I won a jousting contest (or lost depending how you look at it) with a long steel pipe used as a security gate. The metal pipe, after punching its way through my vehicle’s car windshield, dashboard and odometer panel, lodged in my door panel missing my chest by a few inches. I unimpaled my car and drove home feeling glass chunks in my hair and the wind blowing on my face, while my soul contemplated mortality.
Now if you visited here for the purpose of seeing a photo, I’ve added one below for you.