Since I got my first DSLR camera, it has been a very distant and lofty dream of mine to find a way to one-day take a photograph that would one-day rock the world. I think the reason behind this was remembering the pictures I saw in my high school history textbooks and National Geographic magazines. I can remember many time seeing photos that I could stare at for hours, they told stories about wars, deforestation, and evoked emotions I didn’t find stirred anywhere else.
For those of you who don’t know what Shutterstock is I will give a brief overview before getting into the blog. SS (Shutterstock) is a platform where people can buy the rights to photos, videos, vector images for a one-time price and use the image repeatedly. However, the person who submitted the photo retains the final rights to the image or video clip and can pull it out of the net whenever they feel the inclination. This is the story of my first interaction with SS.
As I grew up back in the USA, I occupied my time with orchestra, brass band, theater and sports so I didn’t pay attention to photography. Once I made my way to Japan I found that my old passions were nearly non-existent where I lived and I had to find a new way to be creative which is when I bought myself a Nikon D3000 for an anniversary gift. From there my passion in photography grew and as I got better and better so I upgraded to a D5000 and finally a D7000. I began to get good photos consistently while at home so my ego grew a bit.
Then I went back to my hometown in Colorado USA and I tried new styles of photography, such as nature photography, and macro photography. So, with my ego inflated by complements from my family I returned back to Japan after a few weeks and picked my best photos. I edited them as best as I could using GIMP editing software and uploaded them to SS… Every one of the photos was rejected, was returned with a note telling me I wasn’t good enough.
Now, there are two kinds of people in this world. The first type of person is the kind who would read those rejection letters and give up. Then there are the people who would take it as a challenge and pick up their camera to find a winning shot. Since my ego had been shot down and ripped to shreds at the hands of, the SS review panel I felt a little hurt, I felt like I just got punched in the face. However, I also had a smile on my face because I knew with practice I could take a great photo and I also knew what was needed for SS.
Eventhough I still haven’t successfully submitted a photo and I could look back at the failure and rejection from SS as my sign to give up, as a sign that I am not good enough. I know that there will always be challenges in life to overcome, both small and large. When life hits the fan and everything looks like it is lost remember that success in not the sum of wins but the sum of the failures and the knowledge gained through them that build into a strong, successful person. If you have a dream, be it photography, dance, a business, making rubber duckies – anything. You will have to face failures and rejection before you can win and succeed.