Try Something New

by Jessie Tefft

When I worked as a photojournalist, my failure, then success, stemmed from boredom. I often found myself at events with hundreds of other photographers. I found it tedious to bring back the same photo as everyone else to the newsroom. So I found new places to stand to find different angles. Sometimes I failed, because I didn’t have the “safe shot.” But over time, my experimentation paid off and editors began to realize I was finding unique perspectives. I started getting more assignments where this was valued. And those were the ones I enjoyed more.

Photographers, including myself, often get stuck in the rules and technical aspects of our medium. We forget that a lot of the fun can be found in experimentation. I think that trying new things can be as important as the finished product.

After all, a lot of great ideas came from failure. Take the Post-It note. The inventor was trying to create a super adhesive. What he came up with was far less sticky, and seemingly useless. See how that turned out?

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love,” tells us creative ideas are floating around us all the time. In her book “Big Magic,” Gilbert wrote that the ideas are magic looking for a human host to make them real. But you have to be available and open to receiving it. When we are open to these ideas, the thinking goes, magic happens.

So try something new this week. A new class, a new app, a new food….just try something new and enjoy the ride.

– Jessica Tefft, Former Director of Digital Arts and Photography