Mistakes? I’ve Made a Few!

We all make mistakes, it is one of the inevitabilities of life. This week, whilst on location, I made one of the biggest mistakes that I have made for a while. But how will it impact my confidence?

The view of Blencathra from Tewet Tarn in the northern Lake District

Monday 10th February 2020

I was unable to get out with the camera this morning as I would have liked due to storm Ciara.

Generally I am a bit of a fair weather photographer, I just don’t enjoy being outside in howling winds and driving rain.

That said I have enjoyed seeing the images from people who were more prepared to brave the elements than I was.

Tuesday 11th

The weather here is still very challenging as the high winds and rain continue.

I decided this was a good opportunity to to update my portfolio on my website.ย I am ashamed to admit that I have done any work on it since the end of 2018.

It was actually an interesting exercise. I think I can see an improvement in my work with 12 of the 22 images in my portfolio coming in the 5 months since I went full-time.

Wednesday 12th

Unable to stand another day in the office I just had to get out with the camera today.

I decided to head to Tewet Tarn to get a shot of Blencathra covered in snoe. It was a difficult shoot as it was still very windy but I returned home optimistic that I had bagged a killer image.

I was to be disappointed.

Very disappointed.

Once I got home and could see the images on the big screen I was horrified to find just how bad they were.

I had simply taken on too complicated a composition and the results were far below the standard that I have set for myself.ย  They are so bad I am too embarrassed to show anyone.

I spent some time analysing the shots and working out what I had done wrong, vowing to return to Tewet Tarn as soon as possible.

Thursday 13th

Back at Tewet Tarn this morning and conditions could not have been more different.

The strong winds had gone it was calm enough that we even had reflections on the tarn. A first for me.

Remembering the mistakes that I had made yesterday I opted for a far simpler composition, playing to my strengths and focusing on what I am best at.

The image that I came away with is possibly one of my favourite of the year so far. A testament to my determination to improve and to learn from my mistakes.

The view of Blencathra from Tewet Tarn in the northern Lake District
Blencathra from Tewet Tarn – a testament to my willingness to learn from my mistakes

Friday 14th

Satisfied with yesterday’s return to Tewet Tarn I turned my attention back to my website.

Today I spent time rewriting some of the pages on my website ahead of an SEO review that I am planning for next month.

While doing so I had a look at my page view metrics. I was pleasantly surprised to find that both my workshops and 1-2-1s pages appear to be popular.

My key pages ranked in order of views are:

The remaining 35% of views is largely distributed across individual blog posts such as this one.

Saturday 15th

With storm Ciara behind us we are now faced with storm Dennis.

With the amount rain that has been forecast to fall upon the already saturated ground we have a high risk of flooding.

We spent the morning preparing the ground floor as best we can. All that we can do now is wait.

Sunday 16th

It was a huge relief to us that we had far less rain yesterday than had been forecast.

To celebrate I spent another Sunday sat in front of my computer.

As my diary begins to fill up with 1-2-1s and workshops I am struggling to keep up with everything.

Drawing upon my experience working on the customer management systems at Skyย I have made the decision that I need a CRM system!

So I spent today entering the details of all of the people that have either already attended a workshop or 1-2-1 or a booked in one in the future.

If I have learnt one thing since starting my business is that this industry is all about people!

Hopefully keep accurate records will allow me to keep track of everyone and to build the strong relationships necessary for my business to thrive.


We all make mistakes. Over the years I have realised that it is important to learn what we can from our mistakes so that we can grow.

That certainly stood me in good stead this week.

9 thoughts on “Mistakes? I’ve Made a Few!”

  1. Goodness. The image is stunning. Perfect conditions indeed. I would be curious to see the other image to compare the differences and your approach to making it better. Not many on that topic on YT so perhaps an opportunity? I’m very much like you about the elements. I actually enjoy the Winter months and don’t mind the snow, ice, or even a bit of freezing rain. But add a bit of wind into that mix and it’s just not my cup of tea! Again, splendid image Chris!

    1. Hi Miguel, I will give it some thought about sharing some of my less successful images. Generally I try to be as open and honest but on this occasion I am not going to share that image with anyone, it is that bad! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I’m going to second Miguel here. Only seeing the polished images and not seeing the mistakes doesn’t really give amateurs (like myself) a chance to see what you think is a mistake or how you course-corrected for an acceptable/winning shot. Even if it’s just one photo, unprocessed, it could be beneficial to some of us out here. But, obviously, it’s whatever you feel comfortable doing.
    Also, I notice you seem to have stopped self-critiquing for photos. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing (because quite often I thought you were unnecessarily critical; but I guess that might’ve been the point?), I’m just curious what’s changed?
    I enjoy your work and your videos and I’m enjoying following your journey. Best wishes!

    1. Hi Alan – I will look for opportunities to share some of my less successful images in future. I have stopped critiquing my images but it is only temporary, I have just been so busy lately and it does take time to review each one.

  3. We all make mistakes Chris, no matter how much experience we have, every situation is different. I always look at each image as a learning step, although my personal expectations may have gone up over time! Even the superstars of photography such as James Burns ๐Ÿ™‚ donโ€™t get it right every time!

    You certainly made the most of it in the second location and came away with a stunning image.

    It sounds like business is picking up, really good to hear. I hope to be able to meet you on a workshop later this year. Good luck and keep it up!!!

    1. Business is certainly picking up Alan. I am just about to enter into a busy couple weeks jam packed with 1-2-1s and workshops. Of course this is good news but it has had a knock on effect and I haven’t been able to spend as much time on things like my ‘Hand of Man’ project or my first exhibition.

  4. Even getting ready to get out there at 4:00 a.m. in temperatures barely above freezing, I must admit I’m a bit of a fair weather photographer myself. And I really, really don’t like cold (which is why I’m wearing three layers of clothing that will be covered by a wool cape). It’s the part of night photography I don’t like.

    Stunning image from your second go. Glad to hear that business is looking up, though I’ not surprised at all.

    1. Hi Theresa, the weather here in the Lakes has been poor for nearly a month now. Not cold as such, just windy and rainy. Challenging conditions for a photographer/videographer but I have been getting on as best I can.

      P.S. A wool cape sounds super cool! ๐Ÿ™‚

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