Kevin Thai Photography

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Day 9: Shooting My Friend in the Face!

Project Looking Glass - Day 9

Today I had the opportunity to shoot Melanie. I don’t usually have the chance to shoot people because they’re a lot less patient than toys. It’s okay to move toys around or sit them still for minutes, hours, and walk away to come back again at another time. It’s also okay to do a lot of experimenting. With people, photographers have to be confident in their craft and technique, that’s expected. We’re also expected to be good talkers and help ease them.

Melanie is a great friend from the last 4 years during my stint in South Korea teaching at an Academy. I’ve learned a lot, and some of that from the wisdom of Melanie. We both have the heart to push the boundaries of the expectations placed upon us by our company. And it’s hard to tote the company line and methodology when it’s part of her innate self to contribute more. To take the lesson beyond the classroom. She loves what she does and what she does is inspire children. She teaches without trying to “teach” by exposing her students to the world beyond the text book through inventive ways.

There’s always more to learn. There’s always more mistakes to make. I’m reminded of a line from my 7th grade history teacher, Mr. Spencer Blasdale. I’m paraprasing but it was something like this:

Never Stop Failing

It doesn’t mean don’t try. What it means is to set goals beyond what your actual goals are. If I know I can run a 10 minute mile, I’m going to push for an 8 minute mile. I know I won’t be able to do that but I’ll push myself harder than I would if I gave myself a “realistic” or easy goal. What Mr. Blasdale was telling me was to always challenge myself. Never be content with just enough.

Melanie reminds me of this line. I try to live by it everyday in the classroom. I try to instill this in my students. Mel and I agree – We need to keep making mistakes in our lives. We need to be willing to try. We need to be willing to challenge ourselves. We need to take risks. We need to be ready to fail. And keep failing. And only then we can become better than who were were yesterday. And only then our society can become better than who we were yesterday. And only then our world can become better than it is yesterday.



March 10, 2011 Posted by | Lessons, Portraits | 2 Comments


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