Do you do this, trash your film shots or Polaroids, hit delete on your DSLR, banishing the image before you because you believe it to be a 'dud'?
Yeah, me too.
Cleaning off my desk, I spied a stack of so-called duds and immediately culled a small pile, grateful that the destiny of these photos had been re-routed into the disarray.
Ever the critic and perfectionist, I am quick to judge my work and have had to learn to quell my impulse to throw photos into the nearest trash bin or hit delete on my DSLR.
Those moments when my Polaroids aren't what I was hoping for, when the images on my Nikon seem out of focus or composition, I step away from my inner critic and take a breath and a beat. I rarely view my digital photos because experience says that at least one shot in my camera will be the one. And I've stopped looking at my Polaroids until I get home; otherwise I will end up re-shooting and ultimately wasting film because the first shot is always the best, even if it isn't a great shot, or one that I end up using.
The image above, shot in the early morning at Coachella, was one of those duds and yet, it caught my eye this morning. It immediately transported me back to walking around the polo fields on the second day. All the party kids were sleeping and the sun was glistening off the tents and ferris wheel in the distance. This little coffee stand in the field, served up the most delicious, hot java when I needed it most, was my festival savior.
Even though it's not a great composition, this photo is one that I love because of the evocative memories it preserved.