Photography teaches me mistakes are okay

Victoria Sanseverino, Chief Copy Editor

Having completed essentially all of my dual major requirements going into spring 2020—my very last semester here at Iona—I had some extra room to take any class of my choosing and decided upon digital photography. I have always been drawn to the visual arts, especially photography. I wanted to up my photo taking game from shooting on my iPhone X to a DSLR thinking, “how hard can it be?” As it turns out, smartphone users don’t know just how good they’ve got it. Taking a beautiful picture on your phone is infinitely easier than using a professional camera. As ignorant as it sounds, I had no idea how technical of a process photography was, and what I thought would be a peaceful and relaxing course began with me getting anxious during the first week over the fact that I was having difficulty adjusting my Canon’s aperture setting.

I love to learn how to do new things, but having always been a perfectionist, I can get frustrated with myself when I don’t do something flawlessly the first time around. I think this frustration of mine is also partially a result of the digital age we live in. Back to the subject of our smartphone cameras, it’s so easy to take a perfect, Instagrammable shot in the blink of an eye, and we’ve become incredibly accustomed to this. With our lives expected to look perfect from the outside, we have little room left for true self compassion in the face of failure or missteps.

Slowly but surely, my shots are coming along as I attempt to navigate the “exposure triangle,” and I even did a set this week which I am incredibly proud of. Just like anything in life you want to truly comprehend, photography takes patience and the daily reminder that it’s okay to make mistakes. Don’t become discouraged just because you learn at your own pace and on your own terms, it’s all part of the process.