Life is full of expectations. From the very beginning of our childhood, we are surrounded by experiences of expectation. From the excitement the night before Christmas over the first anxiety of exams in school to the first kiss – imagination, hope and expectations are driving us and determine our way to feel.
We can feel disappointed when the expectations were to high and reality did I not deliver what we expected. We can feel excited before we enter the experience and that excitement can be very fulfilling and bring our pulse up. In photography, we can have the biggest expectations with regard to our pictures and compare these with others. We can be surprised how well some pictures come out and we can be very disappointed by pictures that suck.
Expectations are the drivers to take the camera in the first place. Last week I watched a documentary about Vivian Meier, a nanny that made pictures during here spare time – a lot of them, very good ones. But she never got published during her lifetime. She ended up with about 100000 negatives, most of them never made it as a print during her lifetime.
What were her expectations when she took the camera? She barely did see the final results. She did not drive towards publishing, at least not with the same drive to make pictures. What made her tick? What did she expect?
We may need learn to manage our expectations, because expectation is something good when it makes us move and is motivating. However, it may also get in our way when we are overburdened by it and it gets in the way to allow creativity flow. The right level of expectation is good, but we should not be driven by its energy alone. We should learn what it does with us and how we can use it in the best way rather than allow it to determine our feelings and burden us too much with the feeling of pressure. Pressure starts in the head – and it’s often the result of too high expectations.
Our photos should please us in the first place, and they should be good for our development. All we should expect from us and the pictures we make is, that they allow us to grow.
We can expect to grow. But not too fast. We need to grow in a pace that lets us control the way. And enjoy the journey. That is all that is expected from us.