Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
When I sent out my latest roll of colour on Monday for processing, the feeling of "these could be great, my best yet" was particularly strong. Then the snow came and I panicked about the possibility of lost mail, wondering if the universe was having its way with me. Anyway, the negs arrived this morning, a day earlier than usual and low and behold, they were terrible, strange, "what the HELL was I thinking?" bad.

The anticipation is always intense when I send off my colour work and during the week long wait, I begin editing the unseen images in my head, thinking about books, exhibitions, changing the world. You can imagine the downer then when I actually see them and they aren't anything like I imagined. This rollercoaster of emotions is becoming a little too much, perhaps even having an affect on my mental health. I haven't made a single picture I've been happy with for over a year and I can't stop beating myself up about it. Has anyone else had such a long span of fruitless results? I'm incredibly hard on myself with photography, but it's getting a bit silly. I've forgotten how to just enjoy it, it's like my life depends on every image I make.

Am I losing my mind?

NO, I don't think you are losing your mind. But I do think you are not quite in touch with reality.... Even a well known pros, I mean world renown pros, often say if they made ONE great image per year, they did well. So what's the chance for common folks like you and I doing better than that? It's normal and quite natural to be quite excited about the last shooting and do some "mental exercise" about what you might do with the great image. But, if you are really having that much of anxiety attack over it, it's not healthy. If you are dreaming about great sales, exhibitions, and so on, for every single roll, you need to set your expectation for yourself right.

To me, every "terrible result" is a appointment but also a chance to really evaluate what I did wrong and formulate a plan for the next time. So it's always a mixture of positive and negative. Even great image has something to improve upon. So, I never have a fruitless result.

Do I have long stretch of no keepers? Yes. I'm in one right now.

I wish you learn to relax more. If it's too much for you, set down your camera for a while and do something else.