The Vision

I have had an image in my head for about a month now.  It is amazingly moody, with backlit rain and a saxophone player.  It was more than an average teen musician portrait.  Would it be weird to say that I can totally feel it, but I can’t clearly see it?  (bwahaha…  I sound like a crazy artist)

The Execution

Last night I attempted to create the image in my head.  I got a sprinkler to make the rain…  I had my niece and her saxophone.  I set up some lights.  We went outside.  I took some shots.  I change a light.  I moved the sprinkler.  I took some more shots.  I moved the lights.  I got lower.  I took a couple more pictures.  The shot in my head just wasn’t coming together.  The sprinkler was to sprinkler-y.  The backyard was looking very much like a backyard.  My lighting just wasn’t what I was envisioning.  I was sticky and wet from moving the sprinkler too many times.  And although I knew it wasn’t the image in my head, I couldn’t pinpoint what to do to fix it.  Uuuugggggg…  

Teen musician portrait

I may or may not have gotten frustrated.  I may or may not have felt like a failure.  I am more of an visual artist than I am a photographer… or at least with projects like these.  I didn’t want to capture a moment, I wanted to create a vision…  a vision that is living in my head.  My camera and my photography are only a tool…  my paint, my medium.  The images I got were not at all the images in my brain.  

thirteen with a sax


I had to remind myself that failure isn’t getting unsatisfactory results.  Unsatisfactory results are part of the process.  One of Thomas Edison’s most famous quotes is “I have not failed.  I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  It is so easy when you don’t get the results you were hoping for.  I think most people’s first instinct is to say “it didn’t work” and give up.  Admittedly, it is usually my first instinct. I was so frustrated in the moment that I almost missed the beauty in these shots.   How often are we so focused on what we want and the results that we are expecting to get that we miss the beauty in what we do have?

This teen musician portrait is fun and unique.  These images might not match the image in my head, but they are cool.


I am not going to give up trying to create the image in my head.  I am going to ruminate on it and try it again.  For now, though, I am going to celebrate the images I did get.

Sometimes I do get it right.  Click HERE to see a vision out of my head that I did successfully create.

6 thoughts to “Failing… but not Failing…| Teen Musician Portrait

  • Emily Thies

    These are fantastic! Gorgeous girl!

  • Ashley | Ashley DeHart Photography

    These are really great! Sometimes it’s more about the process, and fulfilling your creative desire than the actual outcome. I’m sure you learned a lot, and will know what to do better next time, but I think your first try is stunning!

  • Annie Whitaker

    Wow!! Incredible use of light!!

  • Stephanie Rubyor

    These are really beautiful, unique and creative. I think we are our own worst critics. It is hard to step back and see the beauty in our work. I am sure she is going to love her images. I know I would!

  • Jasmin T

    These are awesome!

  • Angie Arthur

    As much as you might have been frustrated with the end result (due to the vision in your own mind), I have to say that I love these! My musician son would be thrilled to have images like this of himself. Now you’re getting my creative juices flowing!


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