shopPerfection, whether in our personal or professional lives is elusive. We read every list, article and how-to in an attempt to make our, or our loved ones’ lives, perfect.

We need the perfect life, the perfect number on the scale, the perfect child, the perfect job, the perfect marriage.

Perfection is IMPOSSIBLE.

What we don’t understand is that what we see as our “imperfections” are what makes us perfectly who we are. When everyone has the same color hair, the same shaped teeth, the same straight nose, the same full lips … we are all THE SAME.

Over the past two years, in my effort to be perfect in my work, I have joined several online communities in order to pick the brains of my fellow photographers. I have learned so much and hope to continue to learn more, but here is the most disturbing thing I’ve learned: that if someone’s photos aren’t EXACTLY like what the majority considers to be “perfect”, they need to be fixed.

Turn that knee

Her nose looks too big

That crop is wrong

Perfection is impossible and unnecessary, except in the eyes of the person who is in front of my camera. If my client loves my work, if I’ve made them feel beautiful, despite what my peers determine is a “bad” pose, or an “unfortunate crop” or any number of suggestions made with the best of intentions, then my photo is perfect.

Yes, I DO want to be technically perfect (and that in itself is so hard), but no one save me or my client can determine whether or not any given photo is perfect.

I will never be Ansel Adams or Annie Liebovitz. I’ll be lucky to be considered on a par with Vivian Maier, whose only REAL claim to photography fame could arguably be the prodigious amount of film she purchased on a nanny’s salary.

My definition of perfection will be the smile on your face the first time you see your photos and my perfect photos will be the ones you hang on your walls, the ones your friends what to know where you had it take and the photo your honey carries in his wallet right behind his “emergency’ twenty dollar bill.

I will ALWAYS try to perfect my craft by taking classes and the the technically correct way to take a photo, but in the end, the ONLY person that needs to see perfection is the person who is paying for the photos.

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