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Failing with Purpose

Lesson 16 from: Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Mark Wallace

Failing with Purpose

Lesson 16 from: Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

16. Failing with Purpose

Lesson Info

Failing with Purpose

We're gonna move on we'll talk about something called failing with purpose and this is something that is a core principle for snap factory. Our overriding principle is we believe that through art we can change humanity in a positive way that is that is the heart and soul of stan factory uh another one of our guiding principles, though, is fail harder. We have a mission statement for all of our, including myself, all of our staff members to fail on a regular basis and not suck at your job. That is not what we're talking about. We have another principal and I'm off it still up, but we used to say, don't suck it's one of our guiding principles don't suck and so that's not what I'm talking about him out saying, don't be disciplined, we're not saying, you know, just be lackadaisical were saying work as hard as you possibly can to get to the point where you're outside of what you know, and once you're outside of that point, continue to push yourself and when you do, you're going to fail, and...

once you fail, you will have gained knowledge, and once you gain that knowledge, you can put it into practice in the next time you're in the same place you will succeed, and then you'll be able to go to the next point and you'll fail there and then when you get there again, you'll succeed, and then you go to the next point, and you keep growing your potential, right? And then josh gets run over by mark, but the point is, you have to consistently work at your next level of incompetence, right? That's what you're that's, how you define success is that you continually work it the next level of incompetence, you have to constantly push yourself there. So if you're working in a place that you're very comfortable where you know everything and you can do it in your sleep, you are not failing with purpose, and you're letting yourself down. So you have to constantly dwell in this area of ah, it's gonna work? Not at all times, right? So that those are the places that you have these exercises that you're trying to figure out, how does this work? What am I doing? I'm not so sure, but when you get with your clients, you get him into the place where you could do it in your sleep, right? But if you're constantly pushing yourself, you're gonna get there now. There's this dude, he's a writer, maybe you guys know him aug, mandy no, and he has this quote, and I'm not bigon quotes, in fact, I sort of I despise people that quote on twitter because it's usually the same who moved my cheese, but this one I'll go with alright and no offense to who moved my cheese, but come on. Um, so here's here's the quote and he says, I am here for a purpose, and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth I will apply all my efforts to become the highest mountain of all, and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy, and I bet you that very few people have their potential crying for mercy mostly, like, come on here I am let's go! And so this failing with purpose is to push ourselves into the point where we have our potential going, huh? You've reached the limit, this is it, and I say in my own personal life, in the places that I'm trying to do this, I haven't even haven't even approached it yet my my potential isn't crying anything it's just sort of singing lullaby eyes at this point. Um, let me pair fired tio tio clarify this. One of the things I love is baseball, and so every baseball season, diane becomes a baseball widow because I'm watching the game diamondbacks or three games up in the national league west right now we're gonna win the pennant tight pennant race so I love all this if I love the tradition I love the history I love all the strategies of love the stats I love the you know, everybody coming out on the field and picture revenge the whole works I love it I love going to the ballpark it's great. So, uh I love that stuff there's nothing that I would love more than to be the guy that hits the walkoff home run game seven of the world siri's tto win all right, I would love that wouldn't be awesome force it would be awesome, but do I have the potential to do that? No, I have zero potential to do that. Why? Well, I'm in my forties there's never been a forty year old person ever in world series that's hit a home run that I know of um have you seen my arms? I can't you know there's no way that I could do that. And so if I went to the batting cages in those balls were, you know, flying at thirty miles an hour trying to hit him my potential would scream out and it would be a ridiculous exercise so definitely their areas that if I tried my potential would say enough this is ridiculous please and crying teo stop trying to do this that is where you need friends to help you that is a ridiculous you know illustration that is gave right, but there are some other places that maybe our aren't so clear to me that I'd see you know, I really really want to become the next james knocked away and I want to be doing photojournalism in other countries and doing stuff and if I was just blind to that, I would have to have some of my friends come to me and say, marc, listen, you're married first of all, you can't travel like that that's never gonna happen you don't have the fortitude to do that, you don't have the budget to do that you're too old, whatever it is, but we need to have people around us that are the criers of our potential, right that khun say all right, let's, be honest about what you're doing uh, this isn't gonna happen, but there are other types of things that when you're trying to do specifically you guys right here do you wanna learn more about photography? You wanna learn more about commercial photography? You want to learn how to do all of this stuff, right? There should be a network of people around you that are giving you the opposite they're saying, you know what? You have those abilities you have the ability to not be an it guy anymore and to be a full time photographer er right there are people that can help you with that and you can create a path. So how do we feel with purpose? How do we actually do it? How do we get there? So, um, one of the things that is extremely important to us is we have to release ourselves from the expectation of success. We have to stop saying that at every single point in our lives and every single thing that we do, we're going to succeed because, um, it's just hogwash. You know, we have this culture of success, success, success, success, and it is it's so damaging, so fail and fail loudly and just fall on your face if you look at people that are highly successful, a couple of things that you'll find any expert has worked in their field for ten years or more. It takes ten years there's scientific studies, and I should send it out. I'll find I'll find the link kelsey kelsey remind me, tio, find that ten year link so this amazing research on the, uh, on a science journal have to find it ten years it takes to become an expert in any field look at anybody, they'll, uh they'll done this not just ten years, ten years of continuous work, ten years of continuously going to the next level of incompetence to try to get where you are and so that's what it takes and one after at that ten years you still have to keep going but it takes about ten years so you have to release yourself from the er the expectation of success so that you can constantly fail and not feel bad about it and have a bad self image because you have to do that um if you look at people that are highly successful they all have catastrophic failures in the past I don't know of anybody that's highly successful that hasn't had some kind of catastrophic failure and usually many of them and so embrace that just know you're gonna bite it we're gonna go bankrupt at some point you're gonna have, you know, some kind of problems there andi also understand that success isn't determined always buy if you get the job or don't get the job or get a great image or whatever it is successes in the journey and in the learning and getting there sometimes it's literally in the journey I think of the best things you could possibly do for yur life is taken some time and travel it's good travel it's a different it's a different topic we'll talk about that later um there's a guy please read his book his name is serkin robinson this guy is a expert on education and he's ted uh one of the guys that speaks it ted um so I've studied his stuff because he's really good at helping educators learn how to educate better and one of the things that he said is if you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original it's very very true if you're not prepared to be wrong you're never going to be original because you're so worried about what other people are thinking so weird about that kind of stuff you just have no ability to be original because originality is usually wrong when it comes out right it's like here it is wow that's not like what we've always known so you have to go to illustrate this I would like to tell you a story of gold, frankincense and myrrh okay so I know there are people all around the world that are watching this so first let me, uh framed this so you know what gold frankincense and murder is I know a lot of you will not know what this is. So this is this comes from a biblical story so jesus is born and the's major I these wisemen come and they delivered these gifts and so it's ah it's a biblical story and it's celebrated in many cultures here specifically in united states with um with plays put on by little kids this usually works little kids and churches and schools and stuff they play the part of these three kings or wiseman or major I they're called all kinds of things and they come and there's a little baby jesus and they bring him gold and they bring him frankincense and they bring in murder and so ken robinson his child was in one of these plays so this story I'm stealing from him so what happened is normally in one of these plays it's really cute these kids air five six years old one of them will come up and say I bring you gold here you go here's gold and then another one dressed up in a little robe I bring you frankincense and here he goes I don't know frank instances but it's cool I'm sure and then I bring you murder here you go awesome and then everybody hey right so that's sort of how this goes well on this one what happened was they uh things got messed up so the first little kid came out and said I bring you gold here's some gold right got that then somehow kids went out of order and I bring you murmur came next I bring humor here you go and then the third kid was very flustered you know do so he's came up said frank sent this so frank I don't know but how cool is that? And so the point is that you have that's the mentality of not being afraid to be wrong kids do this all the time they don't care they just try to see if something fits they'll just throw it in there right? Frank sent this that's genius right? We never think of that but here it is on dh that's where originality comes from is if you can release yourself from that expectation of always being right and just see if it's plugged that in see if it fits I guarantee you that anybody that went to that little pageant we'll never forget frank sent this I wish I was there that would been awesome help some video somewhere I don't think it is okay so um failing with purpose again release yourself from the expectation of success and then don't be afraid to be wrong and then here's the here's the handles on this okay here's the actual handles on this there is a, um uh a cycle okay, the cycle goes like this when I get out of my stool finally, uh cycle goes like this way have areas where we're very competence, right? We have those areas and then we have areas that were inconsistent or things we don't know things that we're like I might be able to do that, but I'm not sure those air those areas that were not the next level right of incompetence that's what that is and then we have areas that we just there's no way we're going to fail. For example, if somebody came to us and said, we want you to do a fish thing that goes into refrigerator and it's all frozen and pops out, I don't know how to do that and it's it's so far out of my realm, I would fail at that kind of thing, right? So what the exercise is is to go into these inconsistent, unknown areas that middle stage of the cycle and to actually do cem exercise is really exercises go to the studio, tried if you got the inverse square law bringing a model, try to figure out hard, soft light, do these kinds of things and do it until it becomes now something that you're competent at. And then the whole thing shifts. And so now you're competent, competent and now here's, the next thing that I need to go to work, and then pretty soon you're gonna be confident they're gonna be confident there. And over the course of ten years, you're an expert, right? And then after that ten years, you're more of an expert and you're well known and all of those types of things, it takes time.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Snapfactory Color Theory
Snapfactory Lightroom Workflow
Snapfactory Workflow Example - creativeLIVE
Snapfactory Model Release
Snapfactory Commercial Shoot Workflow

bonus material with enrollment

snapfactory creativeLIVE overview
Snapfactory Purpose Worksheet
creativeLIVE plan

Ratings and Reviews

Brian Geoghegan

Mark Wallace, Brilliant at what he does, so clear to understand, he is amazing, well done Mark great workshop, I learned so much. Thank you, kind Regards, Brian from Ireland


Mark really knows his stuff. He was very well prepared and Mark did a great job teaching this course. Mark went through all the steps from beginning to end in great detail. He also answered questions from the audience an online viewers which helped fill in any blanks. Great course.

a Creativelive Student

I loved this workshop! Many things I struggled to understand about exposure and many other things became so clear! Just wow!

Student Work